ISA TanTec founder, Tom Schneider, has said the group’s move into alternative materials will not detract in any way from its commitment to making leather, reports Leatherbiz.
Tom Schneider - Founder Isa TanTec
The Macau-based group announced on October 16 that it was setting up a new division to develop plant-based alternative materials that it will produce alongside its leather collections.
In a lengthy interview for the Leather Leaders series in World Leather, which the magazine will publish in its October-November issue, Mr Schneider said this new business division had already developed two mushroom-based products that are 100% natural and commercially usable.
“We are not saying that this is an alternative to leather,” he said. “No. Absolutely not. I don’t want to have an alternative to leather. I want to have an alternative to the vegan materials, to the polyurethane stuff.”
He explained that the new materials ISA TanTec has developed are already being tested by a big-name brand who may, he suggested, order several million square-feet of the new materials next year, but that this will be to replace plastic materials that it is using at the moment.
Mr Schneider said ISA TanTec’s aim is not to “cannibalise” its main product, leather, but to offer customers additional products, ones that have a good story behind them and are available from a supplier that brands have worked with for 20 years already.