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Marché intérieur, industrie, entrepreneuriat et PME

Key Facts

Sector:Technology innovation in footwear and leather

Innovation priority: Circular economy and resource efficiency

Start: 2020

ELIIT funding: €70 000

New White Leather is developing a new, cleaner concept for leather tanning and finishing to produce white and pastel products. These are made with fewer pollutant discharges and without using heavy metals or formaldehyde.

This new concept will make it possible to develop innovative products targeted at high-added value markets that have

  • a whiter base colour compared to similar processes
  •  a high level of light fastness
  •  brighter colours
  •  are water and oil-repellent
  • can be cleaned easily

What's the goal?

This New White Leather project will implement this technology at Indutan, enabling them to produce innovative articles in white and pastel shades and quickly launch them on the market. The products are aimed at a high-added-value market, such as spring/summer clothes for leisure and sport. The goal is to confer innovative and distinctive characteristics to leather.

By creating new products and improving the quality of products already in production, the added value of the material can be increased. The project also aims to reduce costs by cutting water and chemical consumption, which will additionally reduce the environmental footprint of production. Another key goal is to increase and consolidate the company’s internal R&D capacities, possibly creating new jobs.

Key challenges

The main challenges that the project faces include a need for more knowledge about technology-ready solutions and an accurate assessment of technology transfer. There are also some issues concerning product compliance and the technical specifications imposed by some brands.

How has ELIIT helped?

ELIIT's support programme has been crucial for this partnership. In particular, it has provided tailored coaching in the technical or horizontal skills needed to raise the project’s relevance and increase its capacities. ELIIT has additionally helped with market positioning and establishing professional connections with critical players, through networking activities and participation in workshops, conferences and exhibitions.

ELIIT also guides on intellectual property rights and financial support for developing products and prototypes with high added value and profitability. The support from the ELIIT programme made it possible to implement this new, cleaner, and more sustainable production technology specifically tailored to the production company Indutan. This has led to the introduction of a new line of differentiated products, which resulted in - new customers and an increase in sales.

Meet the partners

Founded in 1993, Indutan – Comércio e Indústria de Peles, S.A. is a company dedicated to transforming sheep and goat leather from the raw state to the finished article, ready to be incorporated into clothing, leather goods and footwear. It is a leading supplier to the haute couture market.

CTIC, the Technological Centre of Leather Industries, is an entity of the Portuguese National Scientific and Technological System. It was created 25 years ago to provide various types of technical support to leather industries, including product engineering.

SME: INDUTAN – Comércio e Indústria de Peles, S.A.

Country: Portugal

Year of creation:1993

Technical provider: CTIC – Centro Tecnológico das Indústrias do Couro

Country: Portugal

Year of creation:1992