- not the other way around
We start with the raw materials and let them guide us in the design process. This prevents us from thinking short term and follow micro trends. But we simply appreciate and respect the leather and our planet too much not to.
Metal free nappa
We feel it is our duty to constantly push boundaries and be curious, ask questions and support initiatives for new technology that promotes a more conscious fashion industry. We're always eager to test out new ideas, of which our metal free nappa is a great example. The leather is created through a unique, still patent-pending, process based on a rapidly decomposing organic chemical. The tanning process is non-polluting and has a very low impact on the environment.
Here are a few technical (bear with us) but important facts
- Being metal free, the tanning residue is easy to dispose of and has a low impact on the environment The Me-Free substances used are all biodegradable.
- The Me-Free organic compounds used in the process are completely fixed in the skin, reducing the waste of chemicals and practically eliminating the presence of tanning agents in the waste waters Virtually all of the water used in the Me-Free tanning process (98%) is recycled into clean water
- Me-Free uses water at higher temperature when degreasing the skins. This reduces the quantity of non-ionic soaps and water used in this phase of the process by 50% In parallel, the warmer water used by the Me-Free process allows for solvent-free degreasing. Thus, reducing to 0 the impact of solvents during this part of the tanning process
- After incineration, Me-Free’s tanned leather leaves a residue of 0.8% of its initial weight. Comparatively, the same quantity of leather that underwent a chrome tanning process will leave a residue 15 times greater than that
- The Me-Free process requires 20% less water with respect to a normal chrome tanning process (because of the nature of the process, less water is used both in the beam-house and in the tanning stage). For example, on a production of 1,000,000 skins, we estimate a saving of 45,000 cubic meters (which, by one measure of comparison, corresponds to the yearly consumption of more than 650 people)
- The Me-Free process takes less time than traditional tanning, yielding an across the board cost reduction (including, e.g., about a 15% to 20% reduction in electricity consumption)
Vegetable tanned vacchetta
The majority of our collections though, are made from vegetable tanned Tuscan vacchetta leather. For us, this is a conscious choice on so many levels. The Italian artisanal tradition of vegetable tanning has been handed down from generation to generation – and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
We love vacchetta leather because it’s beautiful but also because it supports a more sustainable fashion cycle. Again, here are a few technical, but oh so important, facts
- Leather products treated with natural vegetable tannins are biodegradable and can be easily discarded at the end of their natural life.
- The tanneries we employ reclaim hides from the food industry to prevent waste. These tanneries have made huge investments in depuration systems and waste recycling, to further promote sustainable environmental manufacturing practices.
- Many of the substances used during the tanning process are recovered, recycled and reused. Vegetable-tanned leather does not contain any toxic substance such as azo-dyes, nickel, PCP or chrome VI.
Products made of suede, printed calf leather or exotic leathers such as python are unfortunately not vegetable tanned – simply because we have not yet developed a good way of doing so. But, they are still produced in a way to have minimal impact on the environment, for example by only employing factories that use closed-loop water systems.
Still got questions on our materials? Shoot us an email at [email protected]