JYVÄSKYLÄ, Finland — May 20, 2021 — Imagine a fiber made from leather waste. This is the result of a new partnership between the sustainable natural material company Spinnova and KT Trading – the leather partner to global premium-quality shoe brand ECCO. Possessing the natural durability of leather and the light weight and feel of a traditional textile, it introduces a new category of sustainable and circular textiles that can set new standards for the industry when pilot scale production starts at the end of 2021.
The textile industry is constantly searching for new, sustainable, and circular materials. Following thorough research and testing, Spinnova and KT Trading have succeeded in developing a natural leather fabric made from leather waste without harmful chemicals.
“Leather is an amazing high-quality material with unique properties,” said Kristian Geert Jensen, CEO of KT Trading, who now has a joint venture with Spinnova. “With this new textile, we have taken yet another step towards completing the circular economy for leather.”
Spinnova CEO: Sustainable innovation at its best
Together with KT Trading, ECCO’s key leather provider, Spinnova has established the Respin company — a new joint venture. The partners are already constructing a leather fibre production pilot plant in Finland.
“We are delighted to close the leather loop with our partners,” said Spinnova’s CEO and co-founder Janne Poranen. “This is not just about upcycling, but also creating a promising new material that the industry has been waiting for. This is also a concrete example of the fact that we have a technology that can use multiple different feedstocks”
ECCO’s Applied Research division and Spinnova have been in a R&D collaboration since 2018 and have made successful trials with spinning the protein biomass into fiber. Processing leather raw material does not require further technology development from Spinnova. The company already has proof of concept from using the method on wood-based raw material.
“We have a great collaboration with ECCO and KT Trading,” Poranen added. “They both have an innovative mindset, high expertise and sustainability ambitions like us. Together, we can turn leather waste into a circular material and set new industry standards.”
KT Trading: Respin can take leather to the next level
Headquartered in Switzerland, KT Trading is an international company responsible for sourcing the raw material for leather. KT Trading is amongst the largest entities in the industry, collaborating across a global network including acting as the primary leather partner and supplier to global shoe brand ECCO.
“Our partnership with Spinnova combined with the support from ECCO gives us a unique opportunity to be frontrunners in our industry,” Jensen added. “The pioneering spirit that characterises both KT Trading, Spinnova and ECCO, continues to fuel our passion for technological innovation, and with Respin, we have made a truly unique breakthrough in the way we bring leather making to the next level.”
Posted May 25, 2021