HOT-SHOP - An eruption of creative energy

Last week ECCO Leather’s 14th HOT-SHOP took place at their facility in Dongen bringing together creative energy from around the world.

Focusing on the future of natural materials, this year's HOT-SHOP addressed the application of leather and nonanimal materials in unexpected and unconventional adaptations. 

“We want to lead the way in changing how the materials industry works and focus our energies on research and innovating processes,” says ECCO CEO Panos Mytaros. “For us, this means making radically innovative leather in cooperation with the creative community.” 

With 80 international participants, HOTSHOP 14 had the theme Hypothesis aiming at challenging the perception, use, and performance of leather. The concepts and leather’s that came out of the 4-day leather festival did indeed challenge this with leather proposed for integrated electronics and as a construction material in buildings.  

The recent launch of EL3, a concept that transforms the 9,000-year-old tanning process by challenging the status quo, is a new platform for natural material innovation at ECCO leather. It is large-scale manufacturing combined with a disruptive, creative mindset.  

This idea was born out of the Hot-shop spirit and manifested itself at the festival as a vehicle that will push these ideas forward in the future.  

“As part of our EL3 ambitions, the theme this year encouraged the hot-shop community to create new applications of leather and nonanimal-based material. All the revolutionary outcome challenges material’s traditional function and use and will inspire total new requirements and properties in the material. We were also excited to be able to present the ECCO Leather’s EL3 Motion collection of leathers that challenges the futuristic notion of organic materials with technical functionality.” says Christine Mukakasa, Head of Design Studio. 

To celebrate the launch of HOT-SHOP 14 and ECCO Leather’s EL3 Motion collection, ECCO leather invited Parisian-based performance artist Kirikoo Des, performing under the name NDOS. Together with 10 dancers, Des created a ceremonial procession through the tannery, giving the machinery ‘a voice’ via the dancers’ movements, which were choreographed in real-time using fractal feedback from haptic sensors attached to the dancers’ bodies. 

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