Sheong Shi Tannery
We’ve been working together with the Sheong Shi Tannery in Kolkata since 2020. Patrick and Veronica, the owners of the tannery, are very passionate about working to improve, expand and promote the use of our eco-friendly leathers.
The tanning process of eco-friendly leather is comprised of a combination of synthetic tanning agents and natural vegetable extracts. In the making of our leathers, Patrick avoids the use of harmful chemicals like chromium, heavy metals, formaldehyde, short-chain chlorinated paraffin, volatile organic compounds, alkyl phenol ethoxylates and so on. The leather is tested regularly by an independent inspection agency, to check if they adhere to our sustainable standards.
The tannery treats the wastewater in their in-house plant before releasing it to district treatment plant, which helps ensure the water is clean before being returned into the environment. Among some innovative eco-friendly policies, they collect and use rainwater in their processes and have focused on energy efficiency. Even the design of the building of the tannery favors natural ventilation and lighting to save energy.
In addition, Patrick has also taken responsibility of some of the workers’ children’s education. He believes that education is the best tool to eradicate poverty. The goal of the Sheong Shi Tannery is to provide education to at least one child of each worker. Preferably daughters because they have less chances for education and work. Furthermore, the wellbeing of the workers form an integral part of the entire company operation. Apart from health insurance and pension funds, support in their rents and education is also provided.
A common question we receive is, "How it is possible for you to get a hold of cowhides in India?", as it’s common knowledge that cows are sacred animals in India. A lesser know fact is that Islam is the second-largest religion in India. In Kolkata around 33% of the inhabitants are Muslims and they do eat meat. The cowhides are a by-product of this meat-industry. The Sheong Shi tannery sources its hides from locations less than 100 kilometers away to minimize its carbon footprint.