Chrome-free EcoPell Leather

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Leather is often thought of as a natural material. And such materials return to the soil easily, right? Not in the case of leather they don’t. ‘Cos to stop the animal’s hide from perishing and degrading it has been tanned. And this tanning usually involves heavy metals like chrome, which can have a toxic effect on our waterways. But Ecopell from Germany’s Bavarian mountains is different. It uses Rhubarb (yeh, that's no typo), plus Oak (seen in pic above) and Tara seed pods. Unlike other vegetable tanned leather, the ingredients used here are sustainably harvested. They use the citric acid from the rhubarb for detergents and compost the remainder. Tara is a tree grown in the Peruvian Andes. The tree stabilises soils thereby reducing erosion. The pods can be used as sore throat medicine and their annual harvest provides useful local employment. The Schomisch Company uses only lime and natural enzymes to strip hides of their hair. No heavy metals or off gassing has been recorded in independent testing of their leather, which is used for clothing, footwear, bags and upholstery. ::Schomisch [by WM]

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