Leather is a raw, beautiful, natural material and for this reason it is also extremely delicate and perishable. To stabilize it and make it more durable, our ancestors developed a special process that is what we called vegetable tanning.
Vegetable vs Chrome
Tanning can be done in two different ways, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Vegetable tanning is the natural and the traditional way of processing the leather. It is a quite long process that can take up to months under certain conditions. It uses just organic materials, for example by taking advantage of the tannic acids already found in some plants. The main disadvantages, other than it is indeed a very slow process, are its cost and the expertise needed. Vegetable tanning is incredibly difficult to obtain and it can’t be done without a very specialized knowledge. For this very reason it’s expensive and the vegetable tanning covers just 10% of the worldwide production of leather.
Chrome tanning is chemical way to stabilize the leather and make it usable. However, it’s very controversial for several and just reasons. It was invented to obtain a world mass production (today 90% of the leather in circulation went through the chrome tanning) and it’s way faster, cheaper and easier to obtain. Why? Chrome tanning uses chemicals like chromium salts that are much faster to process the raw hide. This comes at a cost of using materials that are very harmful both for the environment and for the person who carries the bag around all the day long. Furthermore, the chrome tanning actually kills the natural leather. Chrome tanning requires just a day to be completed and no specialized knowledge is needed, lowering the labour and the costs.
Why we still choose vegetable tanning
We don’t aim at a mass production. Actually, we can and aim at just 25 bags a month. We don’t need fast leather, we need another kind of it.
We aim at a very, very, very high quality leather. We really do. Due to the more gentle process of the vegetable tanning, the leather has a much higher quality and it lasts considerably longer.
We do care about the environment and we demonstrate it with facts and not just words. Sidgl was born to have a positive impact on the planet and on the people who live on it. Using any other type than vegetable tanning would simply go against the main reason why this company was created.
If you would like to know any kind of informations regarding our bags, please feel free to contact us.
- 4 Types of Leather - May 21, 2018
- Myths about leather bags - May 15, 2018
- Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion - May 9, 2018
- A simple guide to remove ink from your leather bag - April 27, 2018
- Why we use vegetable tanned leather - April 25, 2018
- A brief history of the messenger bag - April 16, 2018
- Behind the creative process - April 9, 2018
- 6 must-have things in your backpack - April 6, 2018
- Caring for leather bags: 5 do’s and don’ts - April 3, 2018