Sustainable Leather Sourcing
At Adelante, we pride ourselves in our high quality products and impact-driven mission. Not only do we catalyze economic opportunity in Guatemalan communities, but we also handcraft sustainable leather shoes. But what exactly does it mean for leather to be sustainable? In this article, we’ll dig into how leather can actually have a positive environmental impact and how we care for the planet through our leather sourcing and business model.
Is Our Leather Sustainable?
The mass production of leather can have some serious environmental consequences, as can any mass-manufactured product. However, at Adelante, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint by partnering with a tannery that uses the most sustainable leather manufacturing options. We choose tanneries that use leather as a by-product of meat and dairy farming, and that use traditional vegetable tanning methods. In addition, our genuine full-grain leather is biodegradable and lasts for a lifetime with the proper care, so it won’t end up in landfills like low quality leather and other fast fashion products.
What Makes Our Leather Sourcing Sustainable?
Adelante sources all of its leather from Lefarc Tannery, also known as Mexico’s (and possibly the world’s) most sustainable tannery. Here are a few reasons why Lefarc earned that title.
- Water Treatment. Unlike some tanneries, which just dump the wastewater back into the environment, Lefarc treats the water first.
- The Qualus System. This system involves using small polypropylene pellets that help reduce water usage from 40 to 50 percent on every drum load. The Qualus system is an important component that no other tannery on Earth employs.
- Repurposed Waste. Unlike many tanneries, Lefarc repurposes waste byproducts of hides and turns them into collagen. This is often used as a supplement or beauty product because it helps to strengthen hair, skin, and nails.
- Solar Power. Tanning requires a lot of energy because you need to pump the water and power the machines used for splitting, tumbling, and drying the hides. To save money and energy, Lefarc installed more than 800 roof-mounted solar panels.
- Corporate Social Responsibility. Lefarc Tannery takes sustainability outside of the workplace to help people in their community. Once a month, everyone at the company takes the day to engage in activities like cleaning up river beds and planting trees for reforestation.