A few years ago, Capetown (the closest city to Mossop Leather) and home to nearly 4 Million People was in water crisis "Day Zero", a shorthand reference for the day when the water level of the major dams supplying the City fell below 13.5 percent "Day Zero" would herald the start of Level 7 water restrictions, when municipal water supplies would largely be switched off and residents would have to queue for their daily ration of water, making the City of Cape Town the first major city in the world to potentially run out of water.
Cape Town's largest reservoir, Theewaterskloof, was at 11% capacity in March 2018
Fortunately, on that occasion, the drought was broken. However, it generated a flood (no pun intended) of water saving innovation. Mossop leather was at the forefront of that innovation as they designed processes to significantly reduce their energy and water requirements. They set up new ways of re-using their by-products, which in the past would have ended in landfill with further impact on the planet.
Rainwater harvesting: Wellington sees most of its rainfall in winter. For winter 2020, we would like to harvest rainwater that would otherwise fall into storm waters drains. We aim to erect catchment tanks, that will collect water that lands on our roof for storage. The plan is then to use the collected water in our leather making process. Thus ensuring that we recycled water to the tune of two million liters, which would have ultimately come from our dams and water systems. By being less dependent on rivers, we can reduce the need for dams, which have adverse effects on the ecosystems of our waterways.
Rehydration of leather: This is an essential process in leather making. At Mossop, we are recycling up to 15000 liters a day. For coffee lovers that equates to around 15 million cups of coffee or 1 million gallons of water each year.
Tannery by products to create growth opportunities
Renewables:Mossop Leather is also in the process of investigating leather wastes, in their shavings and buffing process. The excess generated from leather shaving in these two stages of tanning is proven to have significant density, mechanical strength, and thermal conductivity.
This provides a great alternative in the form of building material for housing, business, schools, and medical facilities. The shaving can be used in the manufacturing of drywalls and skirting boards.
The inclusion of the leather shavings would increase the thermic insulation capacity, and increase the mechanical strength, but additionally, allow the building to be more fire-retardant, which is hugely beneficial to dry landscapes of several areas in South Africa.
As with all innovation, there is always room for improvement, and Mossop and Veldskoen promise to continually look for better ways of doing business and making our products with the ultimate goal of creating and entirely zero impact supply chain.
Did You Know:
Popular leather products date back to 3000 BC when the Romans used leather sails on their boats. Leather was also used for furniture, tents, and weapons. It began to be used more for fashion purposes around 1000 years later when it started to be worn by Egyptian women.