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The majority of our collections are made from vegetable tanned Tuscan vacchetta leather. For us, this is a conscious choice on so many levels. The Italian artisanal tradition of vegetable tanning has been handed down from generation to generation – and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The vacchetta leather is both beautiful and supports a more sustainable fashion cycle. Here are a few technical, but oh so important, facts
Leather products treated with natural vegetable tannins are biodegradable and can be easily discarded at the end of their natural life.
The tanneries we employ have made huge investments in depuration systems and waste recycling, to further promote sustainable environmental manufacturing practices.
Many of the substances used during the tanning process are recovered, recycled and reused. Vegetable-tanned leather does not contain any toxic substance such as azo-dyes, nickel, PCP or chrome VI.
We feel it is our duty to constantly push boundaries and be curious, ask questions and support initiatives for new technology that promotes a more conscious fashion industry. We're always eager to test out new ideas, of which our metal free nappa is a great example. The leather is created through a unique, still patent-pending, process based on a rapidly decomposing organic chemical. The tanning process is non-polluting and has a very low impact on the environment. Again, here are a few technical (bear with us) but important facts
Being metal free, the tanning residue is easy to dispose of and has a low impact on the environment The Me-Free substances used are all biodegradable.
The Me-Free organic compounds used in the process are completely fixed in the skin, reducing the waste of chemicals and practically eliminating the presence of tanning agents in the waste waters Virtually all of the water used in the Me-Free tanning process (98%) is recycled into clean water.
The Me-Free process takes less time than traditional tanning, yielding an across the board cost reduction (including, e.g., about a 15% to 20% reduction in electricity consumption).
Me-Free uses water at higher temperature when degreasing the skins. This reduces the quantity of non-ionic soaps and water used in this phase of the process by 50% In parallel, the warmer water used by the Me-Free process allows for solvent-free degreasing. Thus, reducing to 0 the impact of solvents during this part of the tanning process.
After incineration, Me-Free’s tanned leather leaves a residue of 0.8% of its initial weight. Comparatively, the same quantity of leather that underwent a chrome tanning process will leave a residue 15 times greater than that.
Bear in mind that these raw and more sustainable materials are more sensitive to scratches. And, since all items are made by hand, that no bags or shoes are exactly identical.
The Me-Free process requires 20% less water with respect to a normal chrome tanning process (because of the nature of the process, less water is used both in the beam-house and in the tanning stage). For example, on a production of 1,000,000 skins, we estimate a saving of 45,000 cubic meters (which, by one measure of comparison, corresponds to the yearly consumption of more than 650 people).
We recently launched a few items made from chrome-free Saffiano leather. The name Saffiano comes from the cross hatch print that is pressed into the leather. The distinctive markings on this leather consist of a series of diagonal lines to create a crosshatch pattern that renders the leather very resistant to stains. It is more durable and less sensitive to scratches than our vegetable tanned vacchetta leather. It is also much less sensitive to water and easy to wipe clean.
Many high-end fashion houses use Saffiano leather for its many positive attributes. The qualities of Saffiano leather were invented by Mario Prada, who first invented and patented the technique.
Our shearling comes from very lovely lambs in Sardegna. That’s Italian for Sardinia.
ATP Atelier is a fur-free brand. This means that our shearling comes from reclaimed hides from the food industry. It is not derived from animals raised for fur production. Simply put, the only thing that sets our shearling apart from our other materials, like vacchetta and nappa is that these hides are never shaved.
Our shearling is produced by San Lorenzo's oldest and most prestigious Italian tanneries.