The history of the tanning industry goes back 10,000 years – and the process was always thought to be impossible without the use of large amounts of water. ECCO Leather’s new DriTan™ technology breaks the paradigm and is now set to revolutionise the entire leather industry.
Developing a more sustainable tanning process
Estimated worldwide water consumption in leather making is 400 billion litres a year and we are in the perfect position to take the first step in inventing a more sustainable tanning process. Our starting point was this very fundamental question: How can we tan without water in a world of increasing water scarcity, and is it even possible?
In a unique process developed by our in-house applied-research lab, proprietary tanning agents preserve the leather’s natural collagens without the use of added water. After 5 years of research the ECCO Leather Applied Research team changed the tanning process.
Re-inventing the industry
DriTan™ by ECCO Leather is a step in the tanning process and uses the moisture already present in the hides. The resulting leather is indistinguishable from traditionally tanned leather in terms of quality, characteristics, stability and lead-time. Besides saving huge amounts of water, the technology also considerably reduces the amount of chemicals used and lowers the wastewater production.
DriTan™ saves 20 litres of water per hide equal to 25 million litres of water saved annually — enough water to keep 9.000 people hydrated for one year. And is saving 600 tons of sludge that go to landfills per year.
Unveiling DriTan’s™ Game Changing Technology
In celebration of the sustainable breakthrough in tanning, ECCO re-launched its iconic ECCO Soft 8 sneaker using DriTan™ leather. The shoe was sold exclusively at ECCO’s flagship store in Ginza, Tokyo, during the IWA World Water Congress 2018.