ENVIRONMENT, LEATHER & WATER RELATIONSHIP IN THE LEATHER PROCESS.
The environment is an essential thing that must be respected when doing something.
From a simple daily personal action to the actions of all the various industries.
We have been hearing for many years that pollution in the city is constantly increasing, that glaciers are melting faster, that the seas are full of plastic, and that cars pollute.
But we still do little to improve this situation and succeed over time.
Each individual person has to perform actions that together can bring a benefit to the common environment.
In my own small way, I have eliminated all plastic water bottles and replaced them with reusable glass bottles.
Like every time you want to make a change at first it seemed very difficult to have to go to a specific shop every week to pick up the glass water bottles and once you had finished, bring them back.
But then it became automatic and even fast because that particular shop was closer to my house.
I must say that the water in the glass bottle looks strange, but it is much better than the water in the plastic bottle.
It seems to be an action that in its own small way is not of such great clamour, but in reality it has an enormous value when added up over time.
One consequence of this is that every week I had less and less plastic to dispose of, and the same glass bottles to reuse.
If many more people did as I do, the change would be much faster and the environmental benefits would be seen very soon.
Small daily actions such as reducing water consumption, not wasting electricity, using recycled products, and not dispersing materials that can be harmful into the environment, can be done both by every single person and by big industries.
If we think about how much water is used in the tanning industry we could talk about it for hours because it is an essential good for production but I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this:
how much water is used during the leather production process?
In a normal leather production process, we find water at many stages of production.
From the first processing stages called BEAM HOUSE to the finishing of the material to give uniqueness to every single article.
Within this production process, there are many processes that have various names (GREEN, CALCINATION, MACERATION, TANNING, ETC.) and that all use water that we can call “disposable” and that once used to process a certain amount of leather, is discharged and is no longer usable.
It is difficult to determine exactly how much water is needed for normal leather goods production.
For a pair of finished leather shoes it takes about 2.11 gallons (8 lt) of water.
An enormous amount.
In addition, this water, once it has been processed, also has a disposal.
It contains residues of chemical products, which must be purified in order to avoid problems of dispersion into the environment in the form of wastewater, sludge, other waste, whether tanned or not, and therefore cause damage to the aquifers of the territory.
During the creation of our sustainable leather brand called Leath3R, we tried to understand how to improve these aspects:
- the excessive use of water
- its impact on the environment.
Value of the supply chain
Here we were lucky and “good” because we were able to face the problem immediately and find a suitable solution.
Thanks to the collaboration with a precious supply chain built up over the years.
One of our partners who came to visit us with a solution already at hand is the Conceria Montebello.
Thanks to their mentality that places them as a valuable tannery especially in the field of sustainability.
They have been working for years with the idea of saving water in leather processing.
After various studies and various processing tests, they have set up a program to reuse water during the calcination phase of the skin.
This reuse of water in the BEAM HOUSE phase guarantees a lower environmental impact.
As already seen, in a normal production line, the water that we used to call “disposable” is used only once for each single process and then it has to be treated and disposed of.
Thanks to this reuse a considerable saving of water is obtained.
Consequently it is easier to manage and dispose of the wastewater obtained at the end of the process.
But why can water be reused?
Today technology makes it possible to do things that previously seemed impossible.
Many tanneries have developed different methods to save the use of water in leather production through new production techniques where water has been almost completely eliminated in the early stages of processing.
Other companies, on the other hand, have managed to reuse water in some production stages through the application of specific methods that guarantee the reuse of a percentage of it.
This second point is our case.
Thanks to this technique developed and improved over the years, water can be reused, and therefore in all the leather articles produced in the Leath3R Sustainable line, there is a low environmental impact.
If we use the technology at our disposal we can optimize all the various processes in the leather production phase and produce materials with low environmental impact.
In addition to water-saving, the Leath3R sustainable line, takes also care of :
- CO2 neutralization
- no salt
- no plastic
and many others that I will talk about in the next articles.
Leath3R Reuse / Reduce / Recycle