A new type of a complete metal-free organic tanning process has arrived on the market. It is called DesertSpring and has been developed by Nera, a branch of Smit & Zoon, in corporation with Enviu (a company for social development) and SN Botanicals. The new tanning agent was developed using sea buckthorn leaves along a transparent supply chain that helps combat land desertification and support depressed economies.
DesertSpring – explains Nera – represents a valid alternative to traditional tanning as it completely replaces fossil and metal-based tanning agents, it reduces the amount of salts and acids necessary for the process, allowing a cleaner leather production with a low environmental impact. A result that represents a real step forward on the path of circular leather only obtained with bio-based ingredients.
“DesertSpring is based on sea buckthorn extract from climate resilient agriculture – explains SN Botanicals, the partner of the joint venture that developed and patented the plant extract -. “Sea buckthorn thrives in poor soils and improves soil conditions thanks to its unique routing system. In China the scrubs are widely planted in areas affected by soil degradation benefitting from its cultivation. By sourcing from these regions, we bring new income opportunities to the affected regions”.
Also the contribution of Enviu, a company that promotes the development of social projects, has been strategic for the development of Smit & Zoon’s new tanning agent.
“We are currently exploring the full potential of this new tanning leather alternative – explains Smit & Zoon -. We are involving tanneries, brands and other parties of the supply chain. Together we move forward a solution that does not only positively impact the leather value chain but also has environmental and social advantages in area that are affected by soil degradation. Together we aim at producing consumer articles that behold the beauty of leather while having a positive impact”.

The leaves of sea buckthorn