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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Scotland-based Leather Company Announces Next Generation Bio-based Leather with New Tanning Technologies

Bridge of Weir, a supplier of fine automotive leather to the world’s most-respected luxury car brands like Aston Martin, McLaren, Jaguar Land Rover and Polestar, recently launched two revolutionary tanning technologies, BioTAN and FreeTAN, marking another significant step forward in the development of next-generation, bio-based and biodegradable leather.


Tanning is the production process where the structural protein called collagen is stabilized and where the raw material becomes leather. Bridge of Weir’s two new technologies, which have been intensively developed over the last four years, will increase the bio-content and end-of-life biodegradability properties of its leather, as well as remove fossil fuel, oil-derived components and heavy metals from its processes and products to achieve a circular future for natural leather.

As part of the BioTAN journey, this first phase represents a pioneering hybrid technology that incrementally increases the bio-content within the chrome-free leather tanning process to above 50%, resulting in finished products without compromising on aesthetics or performance. By progressively replacing traditional components with bio-based materials, BioTAN achieves a balance between environmental sustainability, performance and quality.

FreeTAN offers a full replacement of existing tanning chemistry with compostable technology. Completely chrome-free, heavy metal-free, and aldehyde-free with promising biodegradability properties, FreeTAN sets new sustainability standards while delivering finished leather products with exceptional performance.

Simon Cook, group technical director at Bridge of Weir Leather said, “For over twenty years, we have invested in pioneering new initiatives which optimize and improve sustainability, quality and productivity. With our new BioTAN and FreeTAN innovations, we are further raising the bar for environmentally sustainable leather standards.”

The raw hides used to make Bridge of Weir leather are sourced from responsible local suppliers with 100% traceability, as certified by the UK Cattle Tracing Scheme, with the highest standards of animal welfare and without risk of deforestation. Bridge of Weir also publishes an independent lifecycle analysis (LCA) of the product and makes the lowest carbon leather for the sector, helping its customers reduce their carbon impact on the planet without offsetting. 

Cook continued, “The leather of the future for us is 100% bio-based content, completely chrome-free, heavy metal-free, aldehyde-free, and entirely biodegradable. We are committed to net zero for our operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2025 – ahead of Scotland’s net-zero ambitions – and delivering zero waste to landfill by the same year, further fortifying our sustainability pledges.”

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