Shift to Bio-circular

Developed together with some of the world’s best tanneries, Ecotan is the first truly bio-circular leather with a proven path back to nature.

Shift to Biocircular

Developed together with some of the world’s best tanneries, Ecotan is the first truly bio-circular leather with a proven path back to nature.

Time for something new

We live in an age of great abundance and limitation. Thanks to the efforts of companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin it will soon be possible to circle the globe at 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) an hour. We are also waking up to the cost such abundance exacts on planet earth: rising greenhouse gas levels, depletion of natural resources, pollution, trash and species extinction. This knowledge compels us to be sparing with natural resources and use them thoughtfully.

Time for something new

We live in an age of great abundance and limitation. Thanks to the efforts of companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin it will soon be possible to circle the globe at 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) an hour. We are also waking up to the cost such abundance exacts on planet earth: rising greenhouse gas levels, depletion of natural resources, pollution, trash and species extinction. This knowledge compels us to be sparing with natural resources and use them thoughtfully.

Nature is our partner, not the enemy

It’s time for something different that’s better for us and the planet.

Today consumers rank sustainability as a key factor, giving preference to items that are safe, durable and reusable.

Nature is our partner, not the enemy

It’s time for something different that’s better for us and the planet.

Today consumers rank sustainability as a key factor, giving preference to items that are safe, durable and reusable.

Silvateam has devised Ecotan

A groundbreaking solution for brands looking to meet this new challenge. Developed in cooperation with world class tanneries, this technology allows leather to join the cradle-to-cradle process:

1. Birth

Ecotan formulations start with nature using plant-based tannins that are extracted simply and using sustainable sourced resources. Silvateam has applied human ingenuity to combine tannins with harmless man-made additives to create something entirely new.

2. Life

Ecotan’s nature-based approach results in leathers that match the performance bar set by chrome and glutaraldehyde tanning while avoiding dangerous ingredients. The result is a tanning system that is safe, green and clean. Nature, improved.

3. Next life

Ecotan tanning formulations are bio-circular. They and the leather they have been combined with are designed for a next life as a fertilizer for organic farming and so are returned to nature, enriching it instead of creating problems for us and the planet.

Silvateam has devised Ecotan

A groundbreaking solution for brands looking to meet this new challenge. Developed in cooperation with world class tanneries, this technology allows leather to join the cradle-to-cradle process:

1. Birth

Ecotan formulations start with nature using plant-based tannins that are extracted simply and using sustainable sourced resources. Silvateam has applied human ingenuity to combine tannins with harmless man-made additives to create something entirely new.

2. Life

Ecotan’s nature-based approach results in leathers that match the performance bar set by chrome and glutaraldehyde tanning while avoiding dangerous ingredients. The result is a tanning system that is safe, green and clean. Nature, improved.

3. Next life

Ecotan tanning formulations are bio-circular. They and the leather they have been combined with are designed for a next life as a fertilizer for organic farming and so are returned to nature, enriching it instead of creating problems for us and the planet.

Ecotan project overview

As by-products of the food industry, animal skins left untreated rapidly start to decompose. In order to counteract this process, humans repurposed plant tannins, natural molecules which are used by plants to protect themselves against microbial attack.

As biomolecules that do not discriminate between defending plant or animal proteins, tannins bind to the hides and preserve them for extended use. The union between animal hides and tannins resulted in a useful material like no other: leather. In a way, we paused leather’s path around nature’s circle and sent it on a detour for our own use.

With Ecotan, we can bring leather back to nature, completing the cycle of sustainability.

Ecotan tanning formulations are bio-circular

Once recycled into an organic fertilizer, Ecotan leather becomes part of an infinite loop seamlessly merged with nature’s cycle.

Ecotan tanning formulations are biocircular

Once recycled into an organic fertilizer, Ecotan leather becomes part of an infinite loop seamlessly merged with nature’s cycle.

In a circular economy the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible. What has previously been considered waste is now a resource that can be reused and reintroduced into the production cycle. Bio-circular thinking takes this a step further by employing materials that start and end with nature without causing problems in the future. At the end of a long and useful life as leather items, we ‘un-pause’ their circular journey via a process called hydrolysis so they can rejoin nature’s cycle as useful nutrients for growing plants. Much better than burning them- a wasteful use of resource investment akin to burning the rainforest.

So via natural tannins and simple innovative chemistry we pause a valuable concentration of resources (animal skins), make them available for extended human use (leather articles), then ‘un-pause’ and redirect them back to nature (fertilizer) in a carefully considered way.

Ecotan is backed by science and research

Ecotan is backed by science

and research

This new frontier in sustainable leather solutions comes as a result of half a decade of continuous innovation conducted at Silvateam Research & Development centers and in close partnerships with prestigious universities, research institutes, tanneries and recycling companies. For those interested in learning more Silvateam offers scientific studies, third-party reports and certifications that verify and support our work. These are available upon request.

Our partners

Shift to Ecotan, the first biocircular leather