Sustainable leather

Sustainable fashion is ensuring that clothing has the lowest possible impact on nature during all steps in the production process. From the field to the production process and the final shipping method. The choice of material or fabric plays an immense role in this.

Do you want to buy clothes that have less impact on people and the environment? Then as a consumer you can look at the origin of the fibers and raw materials, at the processing process and of course also the working conditions.

Sustainability is innovation
When we talk about sustainability, we cannot escape the discussion about leather.

“Leather tanning used to be done with chromium, which pollutes the environment. Natural tanning, with plants, or synthetic tanning, with recyclable materials, is already a lot more environmentally friendly. You then need less water and salts. There is also a new method on the way, namely tanning with olive leaves,” said general director Bart Donders to De Rendtmeesters.

Processes change, yet leather is a product that continues to exist because of its enormous durability and many possible applications.

  • Leather keeps about 10 million tons per year out of landfill.
  • Leather lasts a long time.
  • Leather products are repairable.
  • Leather can be recycled.
  • At the end of its life cycle, leather breaks down with chemical and biological means.
  • The leather industry creates jobs and skills for millions worldwide, a key determinant of sustainability and the circular economy.


Why choose leather?
There are different types of leather in the world, but not all leather is of natural origin. Just think of the so-called vegan leather, a misleading marketing term, which is actually just a mix of polyester and PVC. In addition, synthetic or artificial leather is less pleasant to wear than leather because it has no breathability. The natural comfort of leather is often forgotten, but it is a hard truth

Investing in leather is also immediately investing in the future. Since leather can re-enter our economy under a different denominator, it also immediately gives a recyclable aspect. Leather is durable, not only because it is completely biodegradable to make new products, but also simply because it is easy to recover. Damage in a leather sofa is much easier to repair than a tear in a plastic sofa.

The benefits of leather
Because leather contains a lot of air, body heat will be slowly absorbed by the leather and leather has a breathability, so that the body temperature can be perfectly controlled. This way, every garment in leather gives you a pleasant wearing comfort. Furthermore, leather even retains its elasticity and shape after it has been wet or damp. Provided that it is properly maintained, a leather jacket will last for years through wind and weather.

Why choose Donders 1860?
At Donders 1860 we work daily to improve the textile and leather processes with quality products that are produced in a fair and safe way. Production with the least possible impact on nature. Together with our suppliers, we ensure that no harm is done to employees and the environment.

Our clothing is part of your comfort experience as an extension of the body. Your experience is our passion. That is why we innovate and produce our products in a sustainable manner, with attention to the materials. We feel responsible for you as a user and for the entire process. Our responsibility extends from the individual to our employees, suppliers, transports and ultimately society as a whole. Donders 1860 is aware of the impact on nature and gives it a second life. That makes our products sustainably crafted.

In the tanning process, Donders 1860 uses natural tanning techniques, such as veg-tanned (vegetable) or synthetic tanning. This way of tanning is a lot more environmentally friendly: you need less water and salts. We are also making our tanning process more sustainable with olive leaves.

Most of our haberdashery and details are also made from recyclable materials. Think of zippers, press studs, patches, rivets & eyelets, lining, padding/fillings, clothes hangers, etc. These haberdashery and details are recyclable or biodegradable. As an example, take the patch on the sleeve made from beer bottle caps (see image).

Furthermore, all production companies of Donders 1860 are checked for sustainable production and self-sufficiency. Our manufacturing companies are members of the Leather Working Group, Better Cotton Initiative, Social Accountability International and Sedex.

Finally, Donders 1860 is completely self-sufficient in terms of energy. Think of small charging stations, district heating and solar energy.