terracare is a high-quality produced leather and the flagship of one of the last remaining tanneries in Germany. It is used by the industry’s major players such as Hanwag, Lowa and Meindl. The label focuses on three things: Performance, responsibility and sustainability.

Dealing with materials that come from animals requires a sense of responsibility. Fortunately, this is not just an idle phrase: A lot has changed in recent years among manufacturers, brands and end consumers alike. As these developments particularly affect leather production, Thomas Heinen developed terracare. The managing director is the 4th generation to head the family business Leder Heinen, which has been producing leather in Germany since 1891.

Exemplary leather production

As “Responsible Performance Leather,” terracare stands for the highest quality, respectful treatment of animals and environmental protection, whereby both humans and animals should be affected as little as possible.

Meanwhile, terracare has become the leading ingredient brand for leather produced in the most exemplary manner.

What does that mean in concrete terms? 95% of the animal hides come from Germany, the remaining 5% from Europe. These waste products of the meat industry are subjected to an upcycling process. Only certified chemicals are used for tanning. In addition, over 30% less CO2 is emitted and 40% less water is used than the industry average. With facilities in the center of the small town of Wegberg, Leder Heinen cares for its employees and the future of the tanning industry: The wages exceed the average and the company also provides training.

Leather’s natural advantages

One can talk at length about the outstanding properties of leather itself: Leather is breathable, neutralizes bacteria and odor, repels water and dirt, is extremely durable, while being supple and comfortable at the same time. Depending on the tanning process, it can also be composted an advantage over vegan alternatives, which are often presumed to be more environmentally friendly. In fact, leather substitutes only achieve an approximate level of functionality and water protection using a finish made of plastic.

But the biggest advantage in terms of sustainability is the extreme durability of a leather product. A well-made shoe is indestructible, unlike a plastic sneaker, which ends up in the trash after six to twelve months.

Industry leader within Outdoor

terracare’s claims are convincing: Leder Heinen has been awarded Gold status by the Leather Working Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving leather production worldwide. In addition, all leathers are certified with Oeko-Tex.

Major manufacturers in the outdoor industry also swear by terracare. For example, in the Kento Advanced High GTX from Mammut, both the upper and tongue are made of the high-quality material. Leder Heinen also cooperates with Hanwag and Lowa, and Meindl uses terracare in Meindl Identity.


terracare’s Ethos

terracare includes the following standards:

  • 100% transparent raw material origin: All animal hides come from Europe.
  • Only high quality and certified auxiliary materials are used.
  • Reduced water and energy consumption.
  • Best performance: Breathable, robust, water-repellent, durable.
  • Fairness: Humans and animals are burdened as little as possible.
  • All by-products are disposed of in an ecologically sound manner.


For more information, visit terracare.leather.de


Photo: Leder Heinen


Leder Heinen
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