A look back on Alcova: exhibition ‘Trash or treasure’ was spot on

Amidst designers, creative objects and beautiful products, there was the exhibition of Zeology Leather at Alcova Milano. We were not there to showcase a product, but to tell a story about our sustainable tanning process and to create a dialogue about leather.

Animal hide: trash or treasure?

Trash or treasure tells the story about an animal hide as by-product of the food industry. What do we do with it? Throw it away as trash or turn it into a beautiful – and when using Zeology – also a compostable material, namely leather.

And that story was spot on. More than three thousand consumers, brands, designers and journalists visited our exhibition and everybody – vegan and non-vegan – we spoke agreed that, out of respect for the animal, we should use everything of the animal.

Talking points

The main topics we talked about:

  • The use of the by-product of the food industry, the hide, and turn it into a beautiful versatile leather item. We are saving a hide from going to waste.
  • How to take responsibility for a cleaner tanning process by using Zeology. Zeology is mineral-based and  free of hazardous chemicals, no chrome, heavy metals or aldehyde.
  • A hide tanned with Zeology is compostable and can be returned to nature. It serves as a fertilizer, giving 20% more plant growth than industrial fertilizer. (Test results by Anya Hindmarch)
  • Because of the compostability of Zeology tanned leather, the CO2 that is stored in the animal skin can return to the earth. Would the hide end up in landfill or burnt, the CO2 would be released in the atmosphere.

How is leather made?

We  noticed that many people are not aware of how  leather is made. . And, there are also still people that believe that the animal is being killed for the hide and are unaware of the damage to the environment when the hide needs to be burned and buried in the landfill.  In that sence, the exhibition also contributed to provide more clarity amongst the visitors.

An impression of our exhibition

Results survey

To find out how consumers, designers and brands are thinking about leather, we asked visitors to fill in a short survey.

The results

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Survey outcome: 62% say leather is future proof

The results of our survey at Alcova.


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