We want to help our customers to make informed decisions and spread knowledge, therfore we have put together a small guide for you.
TANNING - THE PROCESS FROM HIDE TO LEATHER
Talking about environmental impact from leather the tanning process is often the centre of attention. Tanning is the part of the manufacturing process where animal hides are transformed into leather, a kind of conservation which makes the leather soft and durable. There is a large difference between the tanning methods. Not only environmentally, but also quality. So make sure you know what you buy!
This is the most common and most controversial tanning method. More than 90 % of all leather are tanned using chrome. It is quick, cheap and makes a uniform leather, very popular within the fashion industry. But chrome is a heavy metal, harmful for environment, animals and humans. It is cancerogenic and may cause allergies. A smell of chemicals often remains in the final product, and especially allergist should avoid this leather. Learn more below on this page.
Chromium tanned leathers should be sorted as environmentally hazardous waste, a little freightening when thinking of that we, and especially our pets, come in direct contact with these leathers repeatedly. During combustion heavy metalls are released, there among chrome six, which is toxic and accumulates in nature. Heavy metalls affects fish and other water living organisms and absorbs in the food we eat.
Aldehyde-tanning is advertised as the "chromium-free" method. Formaldehyde, however, is a base dangerous chemical. Leather tanned using this method should be strictly controlled for its toxicity, which unfortunatelly don't allways happen in an industry who wants big and fast results. This type of leather is mainly used in the automotive, clothing and footwear industry.
Vegetable-tanning doesn't use any harmful chemicals. Only vegetables like bark, branches and leaves are used. This leather has a natural earthy smell, a smell known as leather. This is though a more expensive tanning method due to two months tanning process (compared to 1 day for cromium) and high skilled workers. This process is though highly water consuming but the water wastes are harmless and can be re-used or used as a fertilizer for crop production.
CHROMIUM TANNED VS. NATURAL TANNED LEATHER
Less than 10 % of leathers in the world.
Environmental friendly; uses natural ingredients.
Require time & skill, expensive, 20-40 days tanning.
Rich & deep colors in natural earthy tones
Natural look & develops a patina over time
Great durability and strength, last several lifetimes if well cared for.
Smell of leather
More than 90 % of leathers in the world
Harmful to the environment; uses chemicals.
Massproduced & cheap, 1 day tanning.
Available in a huge variety of colors.
Artificial look. Wears badly, doesnt develop a patina as natural tanned leather.
Breaks easily, is softer and suppler. Fairly resistant to water, stains and heat.
As mentioned above, more than 90 % of all leather are produced using chrome. Chrome, just as nickle, are allergenic. Most animal owners don't know this and are not aware of that they expose thems selves, their animals and children for allergenic and cancerogenic substances.
Particularily important to avoid these substances that are so common in leather is it for allergists, both animal and human. Eco-friendly leather does not contain allergenic or cancerogenic substances and the colors used are environmental friendly. Therefore, these leathers are particuarily suitable for allergi-dogs and families with small children who like to bite on things in their surroundings..
SHARING OUR KNOWLEDGE
In addition to emphasizing quality, we also strive to share all the things we've learned about sustainable fashion and lifestyle. And as we learn more, we want to continue to pass the knowledge onto others.