DriTan – Reinventing the Industry

The history of the leather tanning goes back 10,000 years — and the process was always thought to be impossible without the use of large amounts of water. ECCO Leather’s new DriTan™ technology breaks the paradigm and is now set to revolutionise the entire leather industry.

The Challenge: Developing a more sustainable tanning process

Estimated worldwide water consumption in leather making is 400 billion litres a year, and we are in the perfect position to take the first step in inventing a more sustainable tanning process. Our starting point was this very fundamental question: how can we tan without water in a world of increasing water scarcity, and is it even possible?

What we did: Applied Research

In a unique process developed by our in-house Applied Research lab, proprietary tanning agents preserve the leather’s natural collagens without the use of added water. After five years of research the ECCO Leather Applied Research team changed the tanning process.

The Solution: The first solid step towards water-free leather manufacturing

DriTan™ by ECCO Leather is a step in the tanning process and uses the moisture already present in the hides. The resulting leather is indistinguishable from traditionally tanned leather in terms of quality, characteristics, stability and lead time. Besides saving huge amounts of water, the technology also considerably reduces the amount of chemicals used and lowers wastewater production.

The Result:

DriTan™ saves 20 litres of water per hide, equal to 25 million litres of water annually — enough water to keep 9,000 people hydrated for one year. The efficient process also saves 600 tons of sludge that would otherwise go into landfills per year.

The Application: Unveiling ECCO’s DriTan™ game-changing technology

In celebration of the sustainable breakthrough in tanning, ECCO Outdoor is launching a series of three iconic products. The ECCO EXOSTRIKE, OMNIVENT and BIOM C will all see a version that capitalizes on this new tanning process and build on ECCO’s reputation for pushing the boundaries within global innovation. All three products will be unveiled at ISPO in Munich and distribution will be via select key partners in the latter part of 2019.


More Stories

A Water-Efficient Innovation

Nature continues to provoke and inspire ECCO’s researchers who have developed DriTan™, an innovative technology that drastically reduces the amount of water needed to tan leathers.