What sustainability means to Ohoskin
Sustainability for Ohoskin has many meanings. And many means. If we want to go beyond greenwashing claims, we must avoid decontextualized figures. They don’t consider that true sustainability is not only about reducing emissions or recyclability. It’s more a complex system of checks and balances, in which a single factor cannot explain, let alone bring, a concrete contribution to the planet’s recovery.
Among others, the single most crucial factor we care about is transparency.
What transparency means to us
Sustainability without transparency is just empty claims. You need to prove it. But also, it is necessary to tell consumers how things are, what we can achieve in the present and future, and the technical limitations.
Because consumers are the fundamental drive for change, and the best one is the one you make through informed choices. It is why we’ve always been open to sharing information about our bio-based leather alternative’s composition and explaining our choices.
What Ohoskin has been until now
To make our product durable, our first industrialized version of our material contained 30% of biobased polymer (i.e., oranges and cacti) and 70% PVC.
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is one of the most popular plastic materials, and it is essential to make the leather alternative soft and, most importantly, durable.
In short, we used PVC to make the best possible trade-off between sustainability and quality.
While not being the greenest material available, it was essential for our bio-based leather alternative to:
- Keep its quality high
- Make it suitable for the most demanding applications, such as luxury car interiors and quality fashion accessories.
- Increase its life cycle.
Increased life cycle
As we already mentioned, sustainability is a matter of balancing many factors. Yes, PVC is a fossil-based product, and this means that it produces emissions. Everything does. But sustainability also means taking other factors into account. By increasing our leather alternative’s durability, we addressed the problem of the management of the product’s end-of-life and hence the waste disposal problem. PVC can last up to 100 years.
No microplastics are released into the water
Also, unlike PU-based materials (the most common leather alternatives), it does not release microplastics by degrading. Instead, microplastics end up in the water, in fish’s stomachs, and, in the end, in ours. Something that does not happen with PVC.
Finally, to make our product as sustainable as possible right from the start, we chose to use plasticizers that did not include phthalates, components that can be toxic to people and the environment. Thanks to this choice, we obtained the REACH and PROP65 compliancy. But we did not settle. We never do.
Our new composition
We commit ourselves to increase Ohoskin’s sustainability through continuous research for the best solution. The result is material as durable and luxury-grade as ever but more sustainable. How? With bio-attributed PVC.
It is a PVC that retains all the regular PVC’s qualities, but it is made from a renewable and non-fossil feedstock, that reduces the carbon emissions by 90%. We explored its sustainability in a dedicated article.
Our commitment to transparency and sustainability
This is what sustainability means to us. A daily effort to seek the best solution available, while taking the responsibility to communicate both our effort and the present state of our work, with its contradictions and the always-present, always reachable, room for improvement.