Hi, my name is Paul Wagner. I'm the designer and craftsman behind every product at KAMEL. I work exclusively with camel leather, which has some amazing properties. I built KAMEL around a pursuit to handcraft leather goods that are unique, high quality, beautiful, and made with mindfully-sourced materials.
UNESCO has reported that supporting camel industry in arid environments actually stands as a positive measure to fight desertification. Camels require up to 40X less water than cows, significantly reducing their impact on the environment. The leather I use is ethically-sourced (camels are not raised for leather production). Tanned from available hides, the source of these leathers would otherwise go to waste.
My camel leather is tanned with a chrome-free process that leaves it chemical-free. Water from this process is recycled and waste is composted.
Each KAMEL item is purely handcrafted. My word choice is intentional and I say this with great pride. Pouring thought, time, and creative energy into what I make, I attempt to coax life back into the meaning of this word.
KAMEL is a creative endeavor. But more than that, I invest myself in each design, personally entering the process, and infusing integrity into every product. My character lies in the unseen details of every piece. Handcrafted means strengthening the connection between us and the everyday things in our lives. Being a maker brings this relationship profoundly into focus as I physically construct what begins as an idea. It also adds responsibility, making me acutely aware that what I create with my hands will pass into yours.
I care about how things are made, as well as where and how the materials are sourced. Sourcing the highest quality, sustainable materials is a priority, even if it takes me on a quest. I source my camel leather from the only tannery worldwide to have successfully developed an eco, chrome-free tanning process. My eco camel leather meets the most stringent standards (REACH European standards) while also satisfying the toughest requirements in physical performance.
As I seek beauty in my craft and uphold high standards of artisanal quality in what I make, I am pleased to bring this ideal of handcrafted closer to you, too.
Camel leather is up to three (3) times stronger than cow leather, with 10 times more collagen fibers. With a unique grain and density, it is softer and more supple than cowhide.
Every piece is designed and handcrafted in Washington, DC.