VALUING THE LIFE BEFORE THE LEATHER
suckling calf, documented in Sauerland Germany, April 2019
Our story doesn't begin with the finished leather, its starts much earlier. With a life.
We believe in the respectful treatment of people, animals and the environment. And we are against mass animal husbandry with all of its harmful effects on our beautiful planet and the animals themselves.
The bio-leather DISSELHOFF source, is the best we have found available so far. Our bio-leather is an organic leather that is from farm animals which are kept in accordance with the currently valid 'Biokreis' guidelines for agricultural production in Germany. The Biokreis guidelines also meet the requirements of the BioSuisse association. Both organisations stand for an ecological and animal-friendly agriculture, that support local economies, and are examples of some of the best regulations in place around the globe.
The animals are kept in small herds in ‘suckler cow husbandry’ in Germany for meat and milk production. Those animals don’t necessary have a much longer life, but it is a much better one. The cows remain together with their offspring (to suckle) and are kept in free-range pastures, so they can live as wild and free as possible for the duration of their life. They are not kept in severely overcrowded conditions, nor force-fed antibiotics or other drugs, and are only fed fresh food that contain no pesticides or chemical preservatives, and are not genetically-modified.
The transport of animals to the nearby slaughterhouses as well as the slaughtering process itself, are subject to the strict requirements of the Biokreis, and regular independent checks are carried out to ensure this adherence.
The animal skins used are a precious by-product of the bio-food industry and while this industry exists, we believe that to make use of the skins is better than to dispose of them, or to instead use leather imitations that are often chemically-intensive, or environmentally-unfriendly in other ways.
While DISSELHOFF grows, our responsibilities grow too. Our fundamental requirement is a bio- leather from animals that are respectfully kept and do not suffer unnecessary cruelty, but we continue to explore further aspects of the process to ensure the ethical credentials are exceptional. We strive to continually improve and expand our supply chain in the best interests of animals and are open to suggestions, comments or new approaches, relating to the subject.
PROCESSING THE SKINS
The animal hides are picked up from the slaughterhouse and given a specific number, which makes it possible to check all the details of the animal, and refer back to these details at any point. For example, the origin, the age, the weight, the breed etc.
The fresh hides are salted in order to preserve them in the most natural way, and to ensure that they can be stored for as long as possible, for future production. This is helpful as organic hides are less produced and rarely available in comparison to unethical, non-organic, mass produced hides.
The leather is veg-tanned using vegetable dye in the southern part of Germany, under strict environmental guidelines, which results in a particularly low ecological footprint. The vegetable tanning we employ is guaranteed to be biologically sound.
In order to produce our leather, the sustainable plant-based tanning agent ‘Tara’ is used. In addition, the use of harmful heavy metals, such as chromium, are completely eliminated. (Unfortunately, chemicals like chromium are commonly used in standard tanning processes).
Our leather is neither stamped nor sealed with plastic, which is why it may have authentic natural marks, which emphasise the naturalness of the leather and do not, in any way, reflect a diminution of value.
Leather acquires its distinctive character through everyday use. Light and touch can cause the leather to darken over time, and a beautiful and unique patina develops as a result.