ArsTannery Magazine

One more plant in the Silvateam forest for natural tanning

Silvateam S.p.A. and wet-green GmbH are joining forces. They represent the benchmark in bio-circular and bio-based tanning technologies.

Company news ArsTannery

March 2024

One more plant in the Silvateam forest for natural tanning

It can be called a visionary partnership. Silvateam S.p.A., world leader in the production of plant-based tannins, is the new majority owner of wet-green GmbH, pioneer of the patented wet-green® technology for Olivenleder®, after acquiring the company from MB-Holding GmbH. A strategic alliance that becomes the benchmark for sustainable innovations in the leather industry.

Silvateam S.p.A., with over 170 years of experience in tannin production and leading the way in leather innovation with the Ecotan® brand, and wet-green GmbH, a revolutionary company in eco-friendly tanning solutions, are together setting a new standard in leather manufacturing. This partnership sends a clear signal to the industry: the future lies in sustainable, plant-based solutions.

Silvateam core capabilities in the supply chain and production of plant-based extracts will allow Olivenleder® tanning agent manufacture to be streamlined for the required scaling up in leather making process.

Olivenleder®, known for its 100% bio-based tanning agent wet-green® OBE, being the 1st and only Cradle 2 Cradle GOLD Certified and Dermatest EXCELLENT approved, represents the apex of sustainable tanning technology and ideally complements Silvateam’s bio-circular Ecotan® range. Significantly, Olivenleder® is considered a “Game Changer” in wet-green’s activities, introducing a vegetable-based pre-tanning agent that, for the first time in the history of the leather industry, allows to produce vegetable-tanned nappa-like, soft and rapid to produce leather. This breakthrough symbolizes a synergy of time-tested methods and revolutionary innovation, with Olivenleder® crowning their joint efforts for eco-conscious actions.

“The third way for the tanning world, on which Silvateam has long invested, is further strengthened by the acquisition of Olivenleder® – highlights Alessandra Taccon, Ecotan® Project Director. This allows us to offer the widest range of formulations, including the new Ecotan® Advanced line with olive tree tanning agent. The strength of Silvateam’s experience and its global supply chain will enable us to optimize the production of olive extract directly at origin, in Italy, making the system even more accessible to brands, from fashion to automotive. The recipes that we can now propose to the market allow us to obtain highly bio-based leathers with a very soft hand that meet the requirements of the most demanding customers.”

The strategic collaboration brings a significant advantage to the market: the combined use of Ecotan® and Olivenleder® will enable brands to build strong green credentials using both certification labels, culminating in the industry’s highest standard available for sustainable leather products. This integration of technologies and certifications underscores the partnership’s commitment to setting new benchmarks for environmental responsibility and best practices in the leather industry.

Being sustainable does not mean giving up being on trend, as demonstrated by the showroom area set up in the Silvateam booth at Lineapelle where the tanneries displayed their latest products, beautifully tanned Ecotan®.

Antonio Battaglia, Business Unit Leather Director at Silvateam, states: “One more plant is added to our forest. This partnership represents a turning point for the entire industry. We are setting new standards and demonstrating that sustainable tanning technologies are feasible, and more importantly the only way forward. Olivenleder® added to Silvateam full range of wet-end products will allow an unprecedented ability to innovate in sustainable leather technology. Complementing our product range helps us better serve the fashion, accessories, automotive and furniture worlds.”

Ecotan®, known for its low environmental footprint and superior quality, offers a range of eco-friendly tanning methods, including high performance plant-based tanning and chrome-free and GTA-free wet-white tanning. Ecotan® is the first bio-circular leather technology, 100% free of metals, that makes a recyclable, healthy and nature-inspired leather tanning possible. wet-green® OBE, meeting the requirements for a biocircular leather, perfectly complements the Ecotan® system.

Thomas Lamparter, Partner and Managing Director of wet-green GmbH, explains how the success of the 100% bio-based pre-tanning agent wet-green® OBE made of by-products of olive growing e.g. leaves, pruning, pomace and olive mill wastewater came about: “The first recognitions were gathered in the automotive world, working with some of the most important brands in the sector e.g. BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen and Skoda. Then, we went on to serve the big fashion brands, such as Hermès, Hugo Boss, Armani and Patagonia. For example, Vitra and Carl Hansen & Son are offering their customers Olivenleder® for their upholstery.”

“Thanks to the synergy with Silvateam, we want to offer the opportunity for more and more brands to work with tanning systems that are as environmentally friendly as possible. Just think that by recycling all the by-products of olive growing found in the Mediterranean (where 90% of the olive oil on the international market is generated) we could cover 100% of the global tanning.”

With this partnership, Silvateam S.p.A. and wet-green GmbH set a new benchmark of innovation toward a more responsible future in leather manufacturing.

Ecotan® Advanced

This is the proposal of innovative tanning solutions 100% bio-based that adopt the same bio-circularity concepts applied by the now well-known Ecotan® system.

To the many tannins already present in Ecotan® solutions, olive extract is now added.

Brands and tanneries now have the opportunity to use the best and most appropriate sustainable solution for tanning their leathers.

All the products proposed by Ecotan® Advanced are selected and processed by Silvateam in Italy, in its headquarters. Thanks to its extremely specialized supply chain, the company can optimize the production processes to the maximum, making the system even more renewable.


Sneark®, the sneaker made in Italy that is sustainable thanks to Ecotan®

With a particular passion for footwear, to which he even dedicated his degree thesis, architect Lello Romano devised an emerging brand, Sneark®.

In collaboration with the renowned Tuscan footwear district, a symbol of Made in Italy excellence, and several Ecotan® tanneries, the brand has created an innovative line of sneakers using natural, biodegradable and environmentally sustainable materials.

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