Fish scales that would generally find their way into trash cans at restaurants or those of the fish markets is being collected by a French company. The news agency Reuters reported that the firm is turning the fish scales into leather and then using them s ingredients to make watch straps and wallets. The company is even pitching this at the high-end luxury market.
The craft of turning fish skin into leather is an old one. In this day and age that art form is currently experiencing a revival, prompted by the environmentally friendly credentials of the art. However this usage is yet to make its way into the rarefied segment of the global fashion industry.
But that is being attempted to be changed by three friends who met while studying chemical engineering near Paris and who had taught themselves the process of tanning from scratch,m said the Reuters report.
“Salmon skin has a suppleness, and a finesse, it’s less than half a millimetre thick, but with a resistance which is nearly equivalent to cow leather,” said Benjamin Malatrait, one of the three friends, who co-founded a company called Ictyos.
“It has a grain which is more marked, with the scales that are a bit reminiscent of lizard,” he said at his firm’s workshop near the French city of Lyon. “Visually its quite exotic.”
A period of trial for six months has been given to the startup firm in a startup incubator that is owned and run by the Paris-based global fashion giant LVMH, which is the owner of brands such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. The aim and the hope is that the startup will be able to strike deals with LVMH fashion houses.
Currently, work with 250 clients — big brands and artisan producers, is sunderway for Ictyos, Malatrait said. The clients are currently testing the products and ascertaining how, if at all, those can be used in watch straps, bags, and clothes, Malatrait added.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)