Nowadays, fashion is becoming more and more important in our lives. We use clothes to dress up, to convey a message, to express an idea or show our belonging to a group or a social environment.
But we must also recognize that the clothing sector is among the most polluting in the world after the oil sector. However, many innovations are emerging to advocate a greener and more sustainable fashion in order to compete with what professionals call “fast-fashion” and guide designers towards “slow-fashion,” upcycling and recycling as well as raw materials from environmentally responsible agriculture.
Between 2000 and 2014, production doubled to 100 billion garments sold worldwide, including 2.5 billion in France. However, the industry manufactures 80 billion clothes including 700,000 tons in France per year.
We are faced with a waste of clothing whose cutting stage represents 20 to 30% of unused scraps. But the pieces not bought or not worn are resources used for nothing because they are thrown away.
In recent years, consumers are increasingly careful about what they eat, what they apply to their skin, and it is therefore natural that they question what they wear.
With the emergence of social networks, it is easier to denounce unacceptable practices, such as animal breeding, trafficking, and deforestation. In this concern to raise awareness, leather is often singled out with deforestation and pollution because it is a by-product of the food industry that offers more and more meat. But alternatives are emerging with an amazing and colorful proposal!
In 2019, a new company was born in Lyon and quickly found its place among the biggest by combining traditional French tannery know-how with an eco-responsible approach developed around three pillars to preserve biodiversity: recycling of marine skins, no breeding for skin and no endangered species.
The start-up Ictyos, from the ancient Greek “ichtus,” means “fish” and is composed of three young chemical engineers: Benjamin, Gauthier and Emmanuel, eager to find alternatives to leather for tomorrow’s luxury.
Over the years, and after three years of intense research and development, they have developed a virtuous circle in collaboration with the food industry for a logistics concerned with offering rare and precious leathers with bewitching colors initially from sushi preparations.
With a rigorous process, the team starts with the selection of the skins, followed by their preparation. Then comes the natural tanning stage, retanning to nourish and dye the leather, before palisading, which consists of softening the skin to move onto the finishing stage, offering the leather its final appearance (shiny, satin, dry, fat, and other options).
Today, Ictyos is recognized in the leather goods and watchmaking sectors for offering some of the finest and most resistant leathers in the world, which become more refined over time.
“We have implemented our own vegetable tanning manufacturing process. A unique recipe that allows us to obtain a hypoallergenic leather with a woody scent that becomes more beautiful over time,” explains Emmanuel Fourault, co-founder of Ictyos.