Ecology and Sustainability
Sustainable Recycling Products
“Elbkind Hamburg uses organic tanning methods, avoiding use of eco-unfriendly chromium salt and heavy metals. Salmon leather is therefore, eco-friendly while at the same time having exceptional material and aesthetic properties.”
Over the centuries, indigenous South Americans, through their culture of fishing, developed their knowledge of fish leather processing. Nowadays however there are only a few people left who still practice the techniques. Elbkind Hamburg is convinced that fish leather is the new leather of the 21st century and is dedicated to keeping the practice alive.
Fish leather was rediscovered in Brazil in the early 90’s, when the Brazilian government banned the dumping of fish waste in Amazon River and made provisions to reuse fish skin to reduce pollution. Research into the processing and tanning of these biological waste products emerged and Elbkind Hamburg has followed these studies and contributes to the modern-day revival of the art.
The common problems that dog many recycled materials also apply to the fish leather industry. Only small factories exist that are able to produce limited orders of hand-made products with these manual processes. As such, excess fish skin is still dumped, as a waste product into the ocean off the coast of Chile.
As a pioneer, Elbkind Hamburg took this challenge and began industrial-scale production of these innovative products among others, in its own industry in Quito, Ecuador. We work tirelessly on this issue so that these biological wastes can be transformed into works of art, making these leathers available to those with the conscience to follow this eco-movement. Elbkind Hamburg has been able to completely avoid toxic chromium salts and heavy metals by using organic tanning. Salmon leather is therefore, dermatologically and environmentally friendly while uncompromising on quality. Fish leather is not only a sustainable recycled product, but also helps protect endangered species such as alligators due to its similarly exotic scale and pigment structure .