Innovation: leathers created from fish skins


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In France, there are many who have original initiatives to recycle waste. This is the case of three engineers from Lyon who transform salmon skins into leather. The world of luxury is even starting to take an interest in it. It all started in the suburbs of Lyon (Rhône) where those concerned collected skins doomed to destruction. “It is salmon, for example, and it comes directly from restaurants. But for some fish, it can also be fish farms“, testifies Benjamin Malatrait, one of the founding engineers of ICTYOS.

Long tanning

The first step in processing is tanning. It lasts a week. “At the beginning, we will start to remove the scales and the fat from the fish, then gradually add the vegetable tannins, which are extracts of leaves, roots, bark, to transform a skin into leather.“, explains the engineer. The skins must then be dried, in the open air and at room temperature. To minimize the environmental impact, the dyes are also vegetable. Once dried again, the leathers are flattened and then softened.

The JT

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