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Hestra’s German leather supplier focuses on the best raw materials and local tanneries with advanced environmental technology. And that can be seen and felt in the gloves.
In 2020, Hestra entered into a long-term partnership with a new German leather supplier. And since 2022, some of Hestra’s most technical styles within our Alpine Pro collection are made from the Germans’ high-quality leather developed specifically for these types of gloves. The hides come from farms in southern Germany, a region known for good animal welfare, small-scale operations, and lots of natural grazing. They are then processed at a Bavarian quality tannery located in the same geographic region.
Normen, CEO of Hestra’s new German leather supplier, learned the craft from scratch at the Reutlingen Tannery School, and in 2010 he took over the family company in Waldfeucht, Germany as CEO. The 12-strong team focuses on finding and purchasing the best leather in Europe – and they work with selected tanneries in the local area that process the leather according to their recipes and specifications.
In Hestra’s case it took around two years to develop the leather for the Alpine Pro styles, to secure the deliveries and to get the natural material into production. It needed to be hides specifically from plain brown cattle in southern
Germany, and the leather needed to have all the properties that distinguish premium ski gloves: Natural, yet strong and durable. Firm, and at the same time soft and stretchy.
Effectively dyed, but without transferring colour when wet.
There were countless trips between the expert tanners in Germany and Hestra’s design and development department in Småland. Eventually, the leather had the exact desired qualities and was ready for winter activities in tough conditions.
The subcontracted tannery is one of Germany’s most modern facilities and a leader within sustainable leather production. Since the 1980s, this company based in the Bavarian town of Rehau has invested heavily in environmental technology. One initiative was building its own purification plant, which removes 99 % of the contaminants from the water used in the tanning process, and a bio power plant that produces all the energy needed for production from in-house waste products.
The tannery is ECO2L certified (Energy Controlled Leather) for its low CO2 emissions and “Gold rated” by the industry organisation LWG (Leather Working Group). Naturally, it also fulfils the criteria of the international ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems and ISO 50001 standard for energy management systems.
Read the full report here.