Lo Spiegone di Olivia sull'importanza della Concia al Vegetale

How many times have my clients heard me speak and emphasize the phrase “vegetable tanned leather”? I believe and imagine practically every time they have purchased our product or asked for information about a product. In fact, I am particularly proud of the choice we have made over the past 15 years to use “vegetable tanned leather in Tuscany” for about 90% of our production. I am proud of this choice mainly for two reasons: the first reason concerns quality, the second sustainability. The quality You know when they talk to you about "first grain" or "full grain" leather? Here, in most cases, they are making fun of you by selling hammered or saffiano calfskin first grain, i.e. leathers whose surface has been corrected or covered with some kind of very covering finish. Once the surface is uniform, a print can be hot stamped that recalls the natural grain of the animal, but which, you will agree with me, has nothing natural. Full-grain leather, on the other hand, "is a leather whose surface or grain has not been altered in any way, except for the removal of the hair, therefore without a covering finish, and maintains the original features of the animal's coat; any finishing phase is limited to a color correction and a surface waterproofing process. Natural signs such as scratches, scars or stretch marks are visible and are in fact considered a distinctive feature of fine leather, which is also what makes it immediately recognizable from the eco-leather. Only 10-15% of all leather can be finished in this way given the quality that the original leather must have, a quality that mostly depends on the country of origin, the type of farming and the subsequent slaughterhouse. " This is why we tend to emphasize that our products are made with selected leathers. The bags are cut, assembled and sewn entirely by hand. Non-uniformity and irregularities define its character giving it uniqueness, value and unrepeatability as per the ancient Italian artisan tradition. Furthermore, the cost of vegetable tanned leather is decidedly higher than the others, first of all for the type of processing and secondly because it is not entirely "cuttable". In fact, imagine the hammered leather or the saffiano leather of which I told you before, being the underneath of the underneath of the leather which is then layered on top in a uniform and homogeneous way is also easier to cut: you can cut on the entire surface! Imagine instead our cutter Andrea who has to do the slalom with the model between the natural defects of the leather and how much waste inevitably comes out ... don't worry I am the worst recycler in the world and as my father always says "we miss you way to sell confetti with leftover leather "and I swear I'm trying !!! Hence, our love for nature and the environment, our attention to reuse, waste, recycling, here is the second point in favor of vegetable tanned leather: Sustainability “Vegetable tanned leather absorbs traces of experience. It ages, but it doesn't spoil. It is precisely the changes and customizations that occur over time and with use that testify to the naturalness of the product. The colors of the tannins give the leather warm tones over time, which tend to resurface with use. Choosing a product made with this leather means owning an item that is the expression of a unique and unrepeatable philosophy and lifestyle. No leather is alike and this means that its interpretations in shapes and designs are enriched by the variety and personality of the material: a particular and subtle charm that is transmitted to the finished product and to the wearer. • For vegetable tanning, the leather of cattle destined for the food industry is mainly used. No animal is killed directly for the tanning of its skins which, on the contrary, if not used in the tanning process would create serious disposal problems; • Being tanned with natural tannins, once its life cycle is over, a product in vegetable tanned leather can be disposed of easily, thanks to its chemical-biological characteristics; • The huge investments of the tanneries in the purification and waste disposal plants ensure full respect for the environment; • Most of the substances used during leather processing are recovered, processed and reused in other sectors. The hair removed from the raw hides is transformed into fertilizer for agriculture while the sludge, coming from the purifiers, is used in the building sector for the construction of bricks; • The vegetable tanned leather, identifiable by its brand, guarantees the absence of toxic substances, such as azo dyes, nickel or pentachlorophenol and chromium VI, harmful not only for humans but also for the environment. " For more information I recommend you visit the website: www.pellealvegetale.it This is the technical story of vegetable tanned leather now I'll tell you my emotional story. I have to make an important premise: my partner Luca is vegan, I tell you this because it is essential to understand that my love for animals and nature is deeply rooted in my whole family and many times I found myself discussing the use or not of animal skin. Leather is the waste from the butcher's shop. No animal is killed for the skin we use, but for the meat (I buy meat from the farmer on the hill next to my house, which costs three times the price, where the cows graze free, but I live in Tuscany and I'm lucky! contrary to intensive farming). However, leather is an exceptional material, because if treated in a natural way it is destined to last even twenty years without losing its splendor or rather buying it with use, which certainly cannot be said of all eco-leathers that are often plastic. and they last so short that they seem to want to encourage the worst consumerism. The environmental choice we made therefore concerns the way in which the leather is tanned. Normally the leather is tanned using chromium which regularly remains on the leather at best, at worst it ends up in our rivers and therefore seas, aquifers etc .. Vegetable tanned leather on the other hand does not use chrome but instead uses natural tannins like bark and leaves. I was very pleased to note that many write that they are using "vegetable tanned" leather which means all or nothing, if it is vegetable tanned leather you must request the warranty card with the hand in evidence and the certification of origin of the leather . In fact, the guarantee certifies that I (Gelisio) who produce and sell a product in vegetable tanned leather have bought the leather from the "x" tannery which is part of the consortium of genuine vegetable tanned leather and which has implemented a whole series of protocols to make it part, ergo the leather we use is traceable. I finally finished the pippone, as I call it, on vegetable tanning ... But I want to add a little promise: I will strive to find materials for some collections that are without animal components, that are recycled and that last over time! p.s. (I've already found a couple but I'm not anticipating anything!) Olivia