Things are rather simple after all: the area of Malargüe (situated in the province of Mendoza, in Argentina’s sub-Andean region) has an abundant quantity of raw hides and skins, still unused, in fact. Consequently, they are striving to create a leather industry, including the manufacturing of finished products, to turn a pointless waste into a valuable opportunity. Such is the core of the Proyecto Trelke (the Trelke Project), launched by Alejandro San Martìn: after working in a leather-tanning cluster, located in the North of Argentina, he is now planning to replicate that business model in Malargüe, where he was born.
The project stages
As reported by the communication channels of the Malargüe council, San Martìn is carrying out his plan. Slowly, though successfully. In fact, the local company incubator has recently supported the Proyecto Trelke; likewise, the Board of Social Policies has endorsed the project as well. At present, we are talking about a family-run initiative: yet the aim is to become a working cooperative. Proyecto Trelke, which focuses on vegetable tanning by making use of quebracho tannin, arranges a few training courses, both in towns and in the countryside (regretfully, remarks San Martìn, “attendance” turns out to be rather “low”); at the same time, several meetings with farmers and slaughterhouses are underway, aiming to provide them with a deeper knowledge about leather. Which way? For instance, to begin with, by protecting it, while salting it immediately after the skinning stage. As we said, the final goal is to set up an in-house leather industry to pursue the whole leather tanning process, from raw hides to finished product.
Pictures taken from malargue.gov.ar