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Our Materials

The Leather

Leather is a natural product, prepared for use by tanning to preserve it against decay and make it pliable for use. Despite many attempts at imitating the properties of leather, no true substitute has been found. The unique fibrous weave can absorb perspiration and transmit to the outer surface, and the leather is thus said to ‘breathe’. The air spaces between the fibers provide excellent insulation so that the leather also protects against both cold and heat.

No two hides are alike. Each hide has unique markings, texture and a character. Some distinctive marks such as abrasions, healed scars, nicks etc. are acquired though the life of the animal and are considered hallmarks of a quality leather product. The best characteristic of leather is the fact that it ages beautifully. The dyes and pigments are absorbed over time and the leather looks better with use.

The Sourcing

It is our policy to only use leather which is available as a by-product of the meat industry. Koza never has, and never would, condone anything else. Due diligence is taken while sourcing, such that only Tanners which follow strict REACH Compliances are selected for sourcing.

Our suppliers get the hides from sources which are legally compliant and less than 100 kilometers away to minimize the carbon footprint.

The Leather Family

Leather isn’t just leather! There are numerous different types and finishes that all have different qualities and need to be cared for in different ways

Full Grain

The best quality, top layer hide where the imperfections are left as they are to add to the look. Full grain leather is the best looking and most durable leather.

Top Grain

One grade below full grain leather, second layer of hide where buffing is done to remove imperfections

Corrected Grain

Lower grade leather in which the grain, which has been mistakenly removed during buffing is corrected manually by embossing

The Tanning

So what are the different stages of a tanning process? After the preparatory stages when the hide/skin is prepared for tanning by removing many of the unwanted raw skin components, the hide is ready for the tanning. Tanning is the process that converts the protein of the skin into a stable material that will not decompose and is suitable for a wide variety of end products, such as leather bags and accessories. The hides are loaded into a drum and immersed in the tanning liquor. The hides soak while the drum slowly rotates and the tanning liquor slowly infiltrates the full hide. Regular checks by the workers are necessary to see if the penetration is even. After the tanning the skin goes into the crusting phase when the hide is thinned (which is called shaving), re-tanned and lubricated. Most importantly, in this phase the skins are dried, softened and receive their color. The last phase of the tanning process is the finishing, where surface coating is applied. Our leathers hardly have any finishing; this leaves them very open to change during use and gives them their vintage look over time. It incorporates the fat on our skins and the shine because of rubbing against our clothes.

In the making of our leathers, our suppliers avoid the use of harmful chemicals like chromium, heavy metals, formaldehyde, short chain chlorinated paraffins, azo dyes, phthalates, volatile organic compounds, and alkyl phenol ethoxylates per fluorinated chemicals and so on. The leather is tested regularly by SGS, an independent inspection agency, to check the chemicals (not) used.

The Environmental Impact

Research has shown that a significant part of the environmental impact of leather is in the manufacturing process. Therefore, it is not only the chemicals used in the tanning process that should determine how eco-friendly the leather is. To combat this, our suppliers also take care of the following areas of leather manufacturing that have a significant potential impact:

Management of restricted substances;
Energy consumption;
Air emissions;
Waste management;
Environmental management systems;
Water consumption;
Control of manufacturing processes;
Effluent treatment;
Chrome management;
Traceability of material.

The waste from all the tanneries is then sent to the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) where it is treated. (This process is closely and regularly monitored by the Central Pollution Control Board and the West Bengal State Pollution Control Board. Also a regular check of the Primary treatment plant within the tanneries is done by the WBSPCB and the Calcutta Leather Complex Tanners’ Association).
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