Introducing a sustainable textile, made from upcycled leather waste in collaboration with KT Trading and Spinnova.

Leather is a rich and versatile natural material with huge potential for innovation. A new fibre made from the shavings of tanned hides is just one way ECCO Leather is exploring the material’s possibilities and, along the way, finding ways to reduce waste and produce more sustainably.
In 2018 the Applied Research team at ECCO Leather was exploring ways to turn leather waste into yarn. The sustainable materials company Spinnova had created a technology which successfully turned wood shavings into yarn, and ECCO Leather reached out to see if the same could be done with leather. After several years of collaboration, the answer was yes. The result is a unique fibre with the character of leather and the lightweight feel of a traditional textile fibre.
The base material for the new fibre is tanned hide shavings. When tanned hides are evened out to adjust thickness and create consistency, shavings are created. These shavings are transformed into textile-grade fibres in a process which is low-impact in that the natural material does not have to be altered very much, or require any harmful chemicals or large amounts of energy and water.
The innovation partnership brings together ECCO Leather, along with its leather sourcing company KT Trading, and Spinnova. The partners working under the name RESPIN are now constructing a leather fibre production pilot plant in Finland.
Along with creating an entirely new category – a hybrid of leather and textile – the innovation represents a win for ECCO Leather and our company’s sustainability ambitions. “With this new textile we have taken yet another step towards completing the circular economy for leather,” says Kristian Geert Jensen, CEO of KT Trading.
The new fibre will be implemented in ECCO’s own footwear and leather goods designs. "Working at ECCO Leather means working every day to be better in everything we do. That includes sustainability. We believe little steps add up to make a big difference, so we do what we can. One day at a time,” says ECCO Leather CEO Panos Myratos of the company’s ongoing innovation around sustainability.
close icon


Sort by




Feel Leather Type Material Oil Content
Surface Tanning
Video play button
overlay close icon