Sustainable products in the leather industry
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Protecting the environment is one of the three objectives of sustainability. One way to achieve this is to preserve natural resources by using renewable or residual raw materials. These products have a shorter lifespan and a lower carbon footprint, are highly biodegradable, and are therefore considered to be sustainable products. In this paper, three retanning agents and two oils classified as sustainable products were studied. First, biobased carbon content (an indicator of renewable raw material content) was determined. Then, the physical and organoleptic properties of the leathers treated with each product (degree of softness, firmness and fullness) were evaluated. The COD of residual baths was also determined in oils. The products presented in this paper meet the sustainability requirements, i.e., high renewable raw material content, short lifespan, and low carbon footprint. In addition, these products show high fixation and therefore have a low COD in residual baths, thus also contributing to their sustainability.