Over the years, as we've grown, we've had the opportunity to upgrade our hardware a few times. When we first started out, everything came to us nickel plated, and we had to electroplate everything we wanted in gold or rose gold. Naturally this process was super time consuming, expensive, dangerous (rose gold plating contains cyanide), and imperfect.
We've made changes since then that brings almost all of our rose gold hardware to us pre-plated, fairly uniform in color (we have to order from multiple manufacturers to get everything we need), and nickel free.
I've got a confession to make: the hardware we use isn't made to be worn on human bodies. Could you believe that there aren't tons of manufacturers creating hardware just for BDSM gear?
Most of our hardware is made with handbags or dog collars in mind. Which is why most hardware on the market contains nickel. Which is why our silver hardware is all nickel plated.
We recently decided to make a handful of changes to our hardware, and these were very deliberate choices. They're higher quality, easier to use, serve their purpose better, and in some cases are more aesthetically pleasing, too.
We appreciate your understanding that, as a small business, updating all of our product photos with this new hardware is a HUGE undertaking. So we are creating this blog post, sending out an email, updating product pics as often as we can, and adding a graphic to products that we haven't had time to re-make and re-photograph yet.
A few prime examples of these changes are our clips and buckles. The old clips were very aesthetic, but a pain in the ass to use and would not be quick to get out of in an emergency when used for restraint. The new clips are tons more functional and safe.
The old buckles in rose gold and rainbow were pretty, but less functional. Our new buckles have a built in collar keeper, to keep those ends in place.
We'll be adding this graphic to all the products with locking buckle options over the next week or so, to make it clear what these buckles look like. Locking tongue buckles accommodate a padlock, but otherwise function the same as a normal lock. These come to us nickel plated, and are plated rose gold in house. We are currently working on having these made for us nickel free in all finishes, but that's a time consuming process, and we don't have an ETA.
We have also recently switched from gold plated nickel hardware, to solid brass hardware for the majority of our gold products. Solid brass may contain traces of nickel, but it's overall a better option, allergy wise, and for durability. There is no color fading.
Overall, our goals for hardware are:
- Source consistent, high quality hardware for all of our products
- Source hypoallergenic hardware for all of our products
This is no small feat, especially for a small business run from our garage. We don't have the buying power of large brands or the most of the resources. (For example, to have custom buckles made, we need to order at least 1000 of each in each color.) So these meeting these goals is likely far off for the time being.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to improve our products at every opportunity. And we welcome questions and concerns.