Sustainable leather

sustainable leather

When we originally set out to create aagé, we were surprised to learn that leather tanning is one of the most polluting industries in the world. We found it difficult to navigate in the different available information on leather, and in general thought that vegetable tanned leather was supposedly good and that chrome tanned leather was bad. However, following an extensive research period we learned that the spectrum of leather is not nearly as polarised as we thought to begin with and that sustainable leather, to us, involves many more aspects of the leather processing than simply the tanning.
We have chosen to work exclusively with Italian Dani Sustainable Leather - a leading manufacturer within sustainable tanning - for two main reasons. The first reason is the high quality of their products. The second reason is their underlying values, which in many aspects mimic those of our company. For years, Dani have been centred on a re-sponsible and innovative business practice that promotes a holistic approach to sustainability. They have focused on everything from environmental action, working conditions, and investing in research and transparent production and communication.
  
Environmental initiatives
The first value, which we are proud to be working with Dani for, is their environmental efforts. For years, Dani have worked to minimise their environmental impact by focusing on the efficient use of their natural resources. This has for example resulted in them reducing the amount of chemicals used in the tanning process; to use enzymes instead of chromes whenever possible; to reduce their water consumption at every single stage of the production; and to ensure that all water is recycled. Moreover, they map their CO2 emissions from hide to finished leather in an attempt to reduce it and participate in vari-ous reforestation projects to compensate for their emissions.
  
Investing in people
We admire the different ways Dani demonstrate their commitment to their employees, first of all by ensuring their health and safety in the workplace. They work to improve inclusion in the workplace by addressing topics such as gender, age and nationality equality. Dani also allocate resources towards supporting the local community and the families of their employees. Finally, Dani are passionate about combatting youth unemployment and keeping the job positions in Italy, thereby also working to keep the tradition of Italian craftsmanship alive.
  
From cow to leather
All of Dani’s hides are sourced within the EU, which ensures that the hides live up to the European Union’s animal welfare standards and are only a bi-product of the food industry. Of the hides sourced most of them come from local breeders surrounding the district of Dani. This is intended to support the local community and to minimise the transportation involved. The hides arrive directly to Dani, which enable them to skip an entire step of the initial tanning process.
   
Innovation and research
Dani continually work to set new standards for the leather tanning industry and always aim higher than what the European regulations requires. They constantly invest in research and innovation to make the leather treatment process more sustainable and to find new and better solutions to reduce their environmental impact.
  
Transparency
The final aspect that drew us to Dani is their efforts to be as transparent as possible by keeping all of the treatment of their hides at their own tannery in Arzignano, Italy – allowing them to remain full control of every production phase. Dani openly share their setup through their very informative website and by publishing an annual sustainability report with ambitious goals and progress. Find Dani’s latest sustainability report here.
   
Certifications
Dani continually invest in certifications as an instrument for communicating their daily commitments and improvements. They have the following certifications: