- Title: Estonian start-up creates 'leather-like' sustainable material
- Date: 4th December 2018
- Summary: TARTU, ESTONIA (NOVEMBER 26, 2018) (REUTERS) GELATEX EXPERT WORKING IN LABORATORY VARIOUS OF GELATINE BEING FILLED IN BOTTLE SPECIALIST ADDING WATER VARIOUS OF WATER BEING MIXED WITH GELATINE TEXTILE MATERIAL MADE FROM GELATINE BEING PLACED IN OWEN VARIOUS OF CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER OF GELATEX, MART-ERIK MARTENS CHECKING MATERIAL TOGETHER WITH HIS COLLEAGUE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER OF GELATEX, MART-ERIK MARTENS, SAYING: "The problem in the leather industry is that actually 95 percent of leather is made in the way of chromium tanning and actually this is the second biggest pollutant in the world, the leather industry. So we are actually addressing that problem with our product to produce like an eco leather-like material." VARIOUS OF LEATHER-LIKE MATERIAL MADE OUT OF GELATINE ON TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER OF GELATEX, MART-ERIK MARTENS, SAYING: "When leather is made out of collagen, then our material is made out of gelatine. That's what you get when you break collagen molecules into smaller pieces, then you get gelatine. And gelatine can be made out of bones and skin, so actually we can get up to five times more material from one animal. This is one of the advantages and then we are using different methods to make it stronger and to make it more leather-like material." MATERIAL UNDER MICROSCOPE MARTENS LOOKING INTO MICROSCOPE ENLARGED MATERIAL TEXTURE SEEN ON SCREEN VARIOUS OF MARTENS WORKING ON MATERIAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER OF GELATEX, MART-ERIK MARTENS, SAYING: "It's not a problem that we're using animal based ingredients, because it's waste and actually, it's out there anyway. The other option is just to burn it and this is not sustainable. But what we can do is to give that waste a new life." MARTENS AND HIS COLLEAGUE WORKING IN LAB
- Embargoed: 18th December 2018 11:24
- Keywords: textile industry leather pollution eco leather-like material sustainability
- Location: TARTU, ESTONIA / CAIRO, EGYPT
- City: TARTU, ESTONIA / CAIRO, EGYPT
- Country: Estonia
- Topics: Life Sciences,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA00199J5PO9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Giving waste a new life - this is the idea behind Estonian start-up Gelatex, which is developing an alternative to leather based on gelatine that the company says is environmentally friendly and could make the fashion industry more sustainable.
95 percent of the two billion square metres of leather produced annually is chrome-tanned, making the leather industry the world's second-biggest polluter, according to Gelatex co-founder Mart-Erik Martens.
At their lab in the eastern Estonian city of Tartu, Gelatex converts waste materials from the meat industry into gelatine, which is then made into rolls of the material, getting up to five times more material from one animal, Martens says.
Another advantage is that the leather-like material costs around half the price of other leather substitutes and - once the fashion item made out of gelatine-based material is thrown away - it disintegrates much faster than petroleum-based leather-imitations.
Currently the company is still working on the durability of their product, carrying out tests and improving the quality of the material, so that they are ready to begin planned mass production of their sustainable 'leather' in 2020.
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