Silvateam, world leader in the production of natural tannins, has created the first bio-circular shoe. The project is called Ecotan Shoes and combines the company’s sustainable tanning technology with an innovative design philosophy. A philosophy that allows brands to close the sustainability circle.
A year later
“It has been over a year – explains Silvateam – since we launched Ecotan. In other words, an innovative line of bio-circular leathers that can be transformed at the end of its life-cycle into a fertilizer for organic agriculture. They are made using a combination of natural and synthetic tannins and are free of metals and glutaraldehyde. These leathers offer tanners and fashion brands a performing and sustainable alternative to traditional tanning methods”.
Now Silvateam comes full circle. “The Ecotan project has gained a lot of popularity as a new way to recycle leather items, such as shoes.” However, “the need to disassemble them in order to separate the leather from the other components (plastic and stitching, ed.), made the process rather complex to put into practice”. Now, with the innovative Ecotan Shoes process, Silvateam has combined “its experience in the production of bio-circular leathers with a revolutionary design philosophy”. The result “brings to the market the first fully shreddable and recyclable sneaker”.
Silvateam comes full circle
The fashion industry produces over 25 billion pairs of shoes a year. Of these, 20 billion are sneakers: over 95% of these end up in landfill. “The current life cycle of footwear is not sustainable in the long term – states Antonio Battaglia, Director of the Leather BU at Silvateam -. That’s why we decided to bring cutting-edge technology to the market that could help rewrite the entire concept from scratch, avoiding plastic components or stitching”.
What and how
To do this, the company collaborated with industry experts and designers. The objective was to create a shoe that takes advantage of Ecotan Leather with a revolutionary layered structure, suitable for recycling. This design philosophy allows fashion and luxury brands to create fully shreddable leather sneakers. In this way the carbon footprint, costs and complexity of the process are reduced, returning at the same time the resources initially “taken on loan” to nature.
“With Ecotan we wanted to offer brands a real and concrete answer to the problems of our planet by promoting the use of a new class of leathers that can return to nature in a sustainable way” – concludes Battaglia. “Now, thanks to Ecotan Shoes, we want to show that this concept is not only possible, but easy to implement”.