Re-using Antarès leather
12 November 2021
12 November 2021
Each day, a team of more than 45 skilled saddlers craft our famous tailormade saddles, using leather as their raw material. Respect is therefore a must when working with leather.
Today, all our leathers are French, supplied by French tanneries. Antarès only works with leather sourced from the food chain, which means that no animal has been slaughtered for its hide. Each year, more than a billion animals are slaughtered for their meat, not for their hides. Leather production is therefore the oldest and most noble ‘waste recycling‘ activity. In France, the industry transforms 170,000 tonnes of waste each year, or the weight of 24 Eiffel Towers.
Just over a year ago, we introduced a plan to improve our approach to CSR and sustainable development. The plan seeks to limit waste of this noble material used to make our saddles.
From now on, all our leather goods, including our leather by-products, are made from offcuts of French leather from our saddles. Without this responsibly-minded plan, Antarès would throw away roughly 20,000 kg of waste leather each year.
One year on, and we currently have 20 to 30 prototypes of new products underway. To further support this idea, we even appointed a Product Designer in early September 2021 to specially create and design products from offcuts.
Clearly, using leather offcuts does not detract from Antarès’ standards of excellence. All the initial quality of our leather is preserved as we don’t correct the grain, which gives the leather is appealing irregularities. The only thing we do to the leather is to stretch it as it dries in the tannery, so that it keeps its shape over time.
Similarly, each piece of leather is cleverly re-used to its best advantage, to design our products. Some parts naturally stay more soft and supple than others, so these will be perfect for making a pair of gloves. Conversely, other more rigid parts are ideal for making leather goods.
This ambitious plan subsequently extends Antarès’ vision. Of course, we advocate for French-made products, while supporting short and local supply chains, but we can do more.
Our teams are now working on other ventures jointly devised with local businesses, such as oyster farmers, to provide them with products (gloves or protective equipment for their hands) which are vital to their business and designed from our leather offcuts. Working with local businesses on this responsibly-minded plan is also a great way to set an example while supporting our regional economy.