20 October 2023

Mongolia - EBRD supports Mongolian sustainable leather business


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has supported Maris, a Mongolian brand focused on sustainable leather production. Report by ILM.

Founded in 2016 by Enkhnasan Tumen-Ulzii, Maris aims to reduce the level of discarded hides and skins in Mongolia, using vegetable tanning to maximise sustainability.

Reportedly, seven million hides are processed in Mongolia each year and 90% are exported to Italy, Spain and Turkey, with the remaining number going to landfill.

The Maris brand primarily focused on leather handbags before expansion required support in the form of EBRD’s bundled consultancy programme. Tumen-Ulzii said: “Our errors appeared apparent with the help of the consulting. Despite Maris growing, we were still operating like a micro business with little strategic overlook and planning.”

With EBRD’s support, Maris decreased waste by introducing an early detection system for “faulty hides” and began upcycling waste into accessories such as mousepads, card holders and other utilities.

Tumen-Ulzii added: “I started Maris because I wished to reduce the leather waste in my community. With the help of the advisory service, we can now repurpose large amounts of raw leather that would previously have become waste. The customers are happy too as we are now introducing new leather accessories that were not available in the domestic market.”

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