An important aspect of sustainability is the Material, in addition to the manufacturing. We put great attention to the choice of the leather. We only use full grain cowhide leather, from us known tanneries in Germany.
Full Grain Leather: The highest quality of leather is called full grain, it is located at the top directly under the fur. As seen on the image below, this leather has the highest density and the greatest robustness and stores natural oils and fats better than the underlying layers. "Full" means that the surface has not been sanded, so the natural structure of the leather is visible. Only a few parts of a skin, are suitable as full-grain leather, therefore it is more expensive and more difficult to get. Full grain leather is a particularly durable leather, which develops a beautiful patina and with proper care, can last for decades.
Top Grain Leather: Similar to full grain leather, but the surface is sanded for an uniform look. For this reason it is not as rugged as full grain leather.
Genuine Leather: is generated as a waste product from high-quality leather. It is also referred to as split leather, because it is separated from the bottom of full grain leather. Its structure has a lower density and is therefore less robust. The designation as real (genuine) leather is considered incorrectly by many customers as high-quality, but it is by far the lowest quality class.
We only use full grain leather for our camera straps!
Another extremely important point in the choice of the leather is the tanning. This not only has influence on the quality of the leather, but also on the environmental impact of its production. The aim of the tanning process is to preserve the animal's skin and to prevent it from drying out and hardening.
Vegetable tanning was first used about 4000 years ago. For this, the animal skins are repeatedly soaked in natural tannins from oak, birch, spruce or willow bark. This tanning process takes an average of 2-3 months per hide and requires qualified specialists.
In the 19th century, a new, faster method was developed by means of which the animal hides can be tanned in just one day. In chrome tanning, the tanning agents are a wide variety of chemicals, mostly chrome salts. 90% of all leather around the world is now chrome-tanned.
Chrome tanning produces toxic waste water which, if not disposed of properly, can cause enormous environmental damage. This waste water also damages the health of the people who come into contact with it, it attacks various organs such as the kidneys, lungs, liver and skin.
The chemicals used also remove a large part of the natural oils and fats from the leather and destroy the fibers in the leather, making it brittle and breaking faster.
Vegetable tanned leather, on the other hand, harms neither the environment nor the workers who carry out the tanning. Thanks to this gentle tanning process, the natural structure of the leather is retained, as are many natural oils and fats, which makes it extremely durable.
Vegetable tanned leather darkens with use and develops a patina, which varies depending on the use. No patina is the same as the other and thus everyone receives their very own unique piece.