January 2017
Swedish tannery Elmo has invested hugely in order to enable the nitrogen output in its cleaning facility to be reduced by 94%. “The water used in our tanning process is taken from the nearby river and is later poured back into the river cleaner than before”, says Jimmy Ahlgren, marketing director at Elmo.
“Downstream, a regional cleaning facility is turning river water into drinking water, supplying cities on the west coast of Sweden with a drinking supply. Our goal goes beyond producing the best leather in the world; we also aim to generate the cleanest wastewater in the world. We proudly see this as having a minimum impact on the environment, a great leap in becoming one with nature. A tannery should not only be assessed by the chemicals in the leather but also by the chemicals in the wastewater.” Elmo leather is manufactured from Scandinavian cowhides. These are among the most expensive hides in the world and are apt to be transformed into some of the best raw, natural leather upholstery.
Elmo’s aniline, semi-aniline, and technical leathers are all through-dyed and full-grain: natural irregularities in the finished piece, such as occasional traces of healed minor cuts and scratches, insect bites, and lovers’ tiffs, are regarded as proof of authenticity and quality. The animals were well treated and had good lives.