Responsible Yak Tanning with Zeology in the Tibet Autonomous Region

Zeology is taking part in an exciting, high-altitude journey in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Together with ChromeFree Leather Alliance and The Third Pole of The Earth Leather Industrial Co., Ltd. we are proud to showcase responsible Zeology tanned Yak Leather.

And, it is not just about the leather. With dedication and passion, this collaboration furthermore focuses on local sourcing from Tibetan nomadic communities, helping them to stay on the land and contributing to a reduced footprint.

What makes the Yak Leather project responsible?

  • Yak Zeology tanned leather is reducing the CO2 footprint
  • It contributes to the minimization of waste stream (50% of Yak hides end up on the landfill)
  • It contributes to education of locals
  • It maintains the population of the villages in Tibet by offering the younger generation perspective.

The yak hides are tanned with Zeology, the chrome-free, aldehyde-free and heavy metal free tanning agent. Zeology tanned waste (trimmings, splits and shavings), as well as untanned waste (trimmings, fleshings and splits) is solid organic waste that – depending on its proteinic character – have an advantage of recovery and have the potential to be re-used instead of ending up in landfill. They can, for example, be a circular source of bovine collagen, which has many high-end applications in tissue engineering, biomaterials, cosmetics, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Local sourcing and regenerative farming

Supporting local Yak sourcing and “buying local” is an important goal for ChromeFree Leather Alliance, because this reduces the carbon footprint by reducing the cost and pollution. Also, an increased awareness among Chinese consumers can make a conscious effort to support Yak Leather products made as a result of regenerative farm practices. These practices include enhancing biodiversity, conserving water, composting, and moderating the number of animals along with other healthy environmental and soil practices that industrial and factory farms are inherently unable to practice.

Carbon absorption

Incredibly, Tibetan Yak herding communities absorb more carbon than they emit. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is an important part of the global terrestrial ecosystem that provides many ecological roles such as biodiversity protection, upper watersheds for large rivers, circulation of materials, and energy balance, and provision of forage and habitat for livestock and wildlife. Approximately 40% of the QTP is alpine meadow grasslands and yak farming is one of the dominant land use activities.