The development of new technologies as an expression of our environmental commitment
Our passion for leather motives us to search for the best chemical solutions that do not compromise future generations. Here we present our latest projects and products aiming to position the leather industry into an increasingly sustainable path:
A new tanning and retanning process called OMW, a technique which uses olive mill waste water as its main component, which otherwise would necessarily have to be delivered to an appropriate treatment plant.
Using this technology, these waters are subjected to reworking and reformulation for their use in a tanning and subsequent retanning process for the production of “metal free” leather.
The advantages of this process compared to a traditional chrome or wet-white (gluataldehyde) tanning system:
- Completely metal free
- Circularity and sustainability of the products used
- Production of leather with a high rate of biodegradability
- Very good chemical-physical resistance characteristics
- Greater sustainability of the effluents produced
- Safety classification of the products used with very low impact for simple and safer handling
- Excellent performance for a full and firm leather also for use in retanning.
Low Bisphenol Retanning Agents
As of January 2023, BPS and BPF are listed in the ‘Bisphenols Substance of Concern’ category of ECHA’s ‘Substances of Very High Concern’ (SVHC) register. Pressing demands for stricter limits on bisphenol content could lead to more stringent labelling requirements and product restrictions in the near future. This is why we have developed a range of low-bisphenol retanning agents that are highly adaptable, suiting a wide variety of articles.
Our low bisphenol products guarantee the same high performance, whilst adding a variety of desirable properties into the leather.
High tanning power
Good filling effect
Firm and fine grain
Excellent embossing retention
Good light fastness
GSC Group has also recently developed a complete range of products register on the portal ZDHC Gateway (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) regulations that go beyond satisfying the requirements of the LWG specifications.
Low VOC products
One of the major problems that car interior producers are currently facing is the production of low-emitting leather. The research focused on the study of volatile organic compounds (VOC) substances from car interiors. Within its finishing portfolio, GSC has optimised its raw material supply and the company can produce very low to zero VOC (volatile organic compound) products that perform well with all application equipment. Low odour leathers, in particular for the Asian market, are a core focus, especially around VOC emissions.
The evaluation and possible substitution of raw materials from fossil sources to renewable sources represents a real turning point for the chemical industry towards more environmentally friendly solutions that can be adopted on a large scale.
GSC Group is aiming at a growth in the volume of bio-based chemicals using renewable plant sources that guarantee a better CO2 footprint while preserving high performance and product quality.
PLANET MF Pigments for metal-free leathers
A new series of pigments suitable for finishing Metal Free* leathers. This series is the result of extensive research, to achieve the highest environmental standards, as required by companies in the fashion world. The pigments that make up this series have been developed by selecting the best quality raw materials, reducing their environmental impact in compliance with the ZDHC MRSL v.2.0 guidelines
- high all-round quality
- high degree of reproducibility
- wide choice
- thorough technical assistance and strict quality control
Solvent content reduction project
To satisfy customers, the company continues the search for products with a low content of solvent. The analysis of the finished leather shows the presence of different categories of solvents deriving from different types of products used in its manufacture. Glycol ethers and aromatic cycles are usually found, coming from the use of polymers and fat liquors, and silicone rubbers, respectively. This project is aimed to develop a new line of products by researching sustainable raw materials and additives that can substitute or reduce to the maximum the solvents of the two categories mentioned above.
The project refers to the sustainability of chemical product categories and their application processes. The LIFE GOAST project supports and promotes research and innovation on environmental and sustainability issues. GOAST stands for Green Organic Agents for Sustainable Tanneries. The project demonstrates the effectiveness and benefits on an industrial scale of a new metal-free tanning technology for the production of leather goods for automotive, upholstery and footwear sectors, presenting itself as a more sustainable alternative to the traditional chrome tanning process.
GOAST technology is based on the use of a combination of different polymer-based compounds used according to a specific application protocol. The whole system aims to achieve a more sustainable tanning process in terms of overall reduction of potentially hazardous substances, containment of environmental impacts, reduction of consumption of natural sources and simplification of the whole tanning process. This is an innovative tanning process that can be classified as metal-free. The resulting leather waste, being free of chrome and other heavy metals, can be completely recycled.
For further information visit LifeGOAST website.