Green Stuff We Love: Low-Impact Leather
Of all the things that make up the environmental footprint of a footwear company, the biggest contributor is not transport of product or the manufacturing process, but the materials we use. And, when your iconic product is a durable, built-to-last leather boot you’re hard pressed to make substitutions. Until now.
Imagine our delight in learning that one of our tannery partners, ISA Tan Tec, has been awarded the title of “High Tech Enterprise” (recognition previously only attained by technology producers). Tan Tec uses a concept called Low Impact to the Environment (or LITE) to save considerable amounts of energy, water and chemicals at its tannery in Guangzhou province in China. And, not only are they cutting their resource consumption, this high tech designation comes with at 40% tax break (ka-ching!).
LITE is based on a product’s CO2 footprint, which involves documenting the carbon dioxide emissions for each square meter of leather produced. LITE standards are based on calculations by the BLC Leather Technology Centre on behalf of the Leather Working Group (LWG) for average energy and water consumption in the industry. LITE products are made with roughly 35% less energy and 50% less water.
Keep your eye on Tan Tec — they appear to get how “green” makes business sense … and that seems to be the key to success.