ECCO’s water-saving tanning technology, DriTan™, has been awarded Popular Science’s Best of What’s New award for 2019. The technology that breaks the paradigm of ten thousand years of leather tanning and deals with the issue of water scarcity, is recognised for its innovation in the Recreation category.
“ECCO started with a very simple question: how can we tan leather without water, and is it even possible? Since the company owns all of its tanneries, we acknowledged the fact that we were in a unique position to make the first step in developing a more sustainable tanning process,” says Thomas Gøgisg, Head of Applied Research, ECCO. “After five years of extensive research and development, DriTan™ was introduced, and we’ve made the first solid step towards water-free leather manufacturing. Recognition such as this from Popular Science, is an incredible honour.”
Implemented at its tannery in the Netherlands, DriTan™ will save ECCO 20 litres of water per hide, equal to 25 million litres of water, annually, enough water to keep more than 9,000 people hydrated for one year according to WHO figures. DriTan™ will also eliminate 600 tons of sludge, or roughly 40 truckloads, per year at its Dutch tannery alone.
“The Best of What’s New is our celebration of the most impactful and exciting innovations of the year,” says Popular Science Editor-in-Chief Joe Brown. “This expertly vetted collection lays the groundwork for a healthier, safer, and awe-inspiring future—in our homes, cities, outer space, and everywhere in between.”
Using only the moisture already present in the hides, the DriTan™ technology produces leather that is indistinguishable from traditionally tanned leather in terms of quality, characteristics, stability and lead-time.
ECCO is one of the world’s leading shoe brands, combining style and comfort. ECCO’s success is built on products with a great fit and top-quality leathers. ECCO is a highly responsible company that owns and manages every aspect of the value chain from leather and shoe manufacturing to wholesale and retail activities. ECCO’s products are sold in 99 countries from over 2,250 ECCO shops and more than 14,000 sales points. ECCO is family-owned, founded in Denmark in 1963, and employs 21,300 people worldwide.