The development of a sustainable and circular leather

Nera in corporation with Enviu and SN Botanicals is developing a revolutionary, circular, metal- and chrome free tanning concept based on the extract of the Sea buckthorn plant. The concept is called ‘DesertSpring’ (bringing back life to deserted grounds) while making the leather value chain more sustainable.

The positive impact of DesertSpring

Traditional leather tanning is often tanned with heavy metals like chromium or hazardous fossil substances like glutaraldehyde (GDA). DesertSpring is a metal free and bio-based alternative that poses a great opportunity to

  • replace fossil and metal-based tanning agents
  • cleaner leather production (e.g. metal, salt and acids free tanning)
  • set a step towards circular leather, based on biological ingredients
Desert Spring leaves

Raw materials from climate resilient agriculture

DesertSpring is based on sea buckthorn extract from climate resilient agriculture. We are building a responsible and fully transparent supply chain of sea buckthorn leaves in China, from wild forests and organic plantations. As we’re only harvesting the leaves and we don’t cut the shrubs, we protect the local biodiversity. DesertSpring does not compete with food.

And there is more. Sea buckthorn thrives in poor soils and improves soil conditions thanks to its unique rooting system. In China, the shrubs are widely planted in areas affected by soil degradation. By sourcing from these regions, we bring new income opportunities to the affected regions, and we stimulate soil improvement projects.

Current developments

We are currently exploring the full potential of the leather tanning alternative. Part of this is involving tanneries, brands and other parties. Together we move forward a solution that does not only positively impact the leather value chain but also has environmental and social advantages in area that are affected by soil degradation. Together we aim at producing consumer articles that behold the beauty of leather while having a positive impact.

DesertSpring will share updates and news via this website.

DesertSpring is a unique joint venture

At Nera, we know that you cannot launch bolt innovations on your own. DesertSpring is a strong joint-venture of Smit & Zoon, SN Botanicals and Enviu. Together, we strive for excellence and impact.