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Traceability of leather is not easy - but possible

Leather is an excellent material for durable, comfortable and good-looking shoes. It is also a byproduct of the meat industry, and the resource is renewable. The ethical and environmental side of the meat and leather industry has been under surveillance for years. The best available tool today for transparency being the Leather Working Group (LWG).

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The Leather Working Group (LWG) is a non-profit membership organization of brands, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and technical experts across the leather supply chain. LWG aims to promote sustainable business practices and create appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.

Sustainability is also a journey for tanneries, and working within LWG is a step-by-step journey. The lowest step is that the tannery is willing to become a member and open for an audit. When audited and pointed for corrective actions, the tannery will improve gradually and reach next steps, from bronze-rated to gold level. When a tannery reaches the gold level, it means that it scores highest in all requirements, from the environmental management system to restricted substances and emergency plans.

Today, we only use gold-rated leathers to ensure that all points of LWG audit protocol are in place and our customer receives products that were safely produced and are safe to use. The only exception is for some existing styles that are under certification, such as our safety products.

ECCO, the supplier of our Nubuck leather, is using a tanning method named DriTan which uses less water and chemicals than traditional tanning. The DriTan tanning process saves 20 liters of water per hide, and uses 30-40% less chrome than in conventional tanning. Using the DriTan method saves 500,000 kg of chemicals per year at the tannery facility in Thailand.

Icebug buys Nubuck leather from ECCO Tannery Thailand and Suede leather from Shin Li Chang in Taiwan. The ECCO hides used for Icebug are European and American hides, tanned in ECCO Leather BV in Holland. The hides tanned in Holland are shipped to the ECCO Wet Blue Warehouse (ECCO Group’s central distribution center), and later shipped/transported to the ECCO tannery in Thailand.

The Suede leather is made from hides with origin Argentina, name of hide suppliers: (1)Curtume CBR S.A. (2) Sadesa (3)Hispano (4)JBS Leather. The hides are bought wet blue, so there is one first tanning step before the hides arrive to Shin Li Chang, who performs the second tanning step.

ECCO Tannery (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Nakornluang Industrial Estate 113/9 Moo4 Bangprakru Nakornluang Ayutthaya 13260 Thailandia

No. 28-1 Tu Tun Lane, Xi Ding Village, Tian Wei, Chang Hua, Taiwan, R.O.C. Tel: +886-4-8831415 Fax: +886-4-8830866 E-mail:

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