In 2013, Smit & zoon Wet-end introduced the Simplicity concept. Simplicity means: shorter tannery processes providing attractive, high-quality leather while saving water and energy. Although each tannery uses different processes, the Simplicity approach can be used in any tannery and tailored to its operating methods.
A number of tanneries now uses this concept to shorten their processes, with the emphasis on saving water. Over the next few years we will continue to work with customers on optimizing their processes and saving water and energy based on the Simplicity concept. Simplicity is a driver for product innovation in our company, which also contributes to these developments.
“Leather technicians are confronted on a daily base with the problems of how to make the required leather article from low quality raw material.
Sometimes it’s very difficult to apply our simplicity concept in order to get high quality results with the lowest quantity of products.
Customers always appreciate using minimal to no change of floats (water). For example, when washing wet-blue shoe upper leather, the same water is used for both rechroming and neutralization as well as for retanning and fatliquoring. This system is a success in many tanneries.
More importantly is the right choice of chemicals to minimize the amount of used products or shorten the process. A nice example of this is the Syntan ZLR 100 process. When the cationic charge is increased, it results in a darker color of leather.
Another advantage for using Syntan ZLR 100 is a very short napp on the velour and nubuck article. This product already proved to be quite successful. ”
Restrictions on Chrome VI
Restriction is one of the available instruments in EU-REACh to protect human health and the environment from unacceptable risks posed by chemicals.
The LIFE Biopol project aims to provide answers to the most relevant issues of European policies for the leather industry: in particular the reduction of hazardous chemicals as well as their environmental footprint and impacts.
Being proud of leather
I am proud to be part of the leather industry, an industry that has been making a huge progress to manufacture a sustainable material, bringing comfort, luxury and joy to consumers. Personally, I feel less and less need to go into the defense when leather is debated in comparison to alternative materials. After all, most of the alternative materials do not have a better impact story, or the ‘arguments used’ are far from neither transparent, nor sustainable with often plastics involved.