Knowledge: TOMITA

Knowledge: TOMITA

TOMITA Kogyo:A variety of advanced initiatives quickly offer a lifestyle with leather and sustainable leather

TOMITA KogyoA variety of advanced initiatives quickly offer a lifestyle with leather and sustainable leather

A long-established company leading the leather industry confronts the essence of leather and expresses its potential with diverse approaches.
It values unused materials and leather and promotes recycling-oriented manufacturing.

Interview in 2022

Tomita Kogyo, founded in 1923, is known as a well-established but forward-thinking company. In this age of diversity, it is essential to create added value based on market needs and functionality, not to mention seasonal trends. The company is one of the first to pay attention to "sustainable" and promote it as a project.

LEZZA BOTANICA ® is a unique leather product that reuses skin, a byproduct of food, and pomace, a byproduct of plant origin, in collaboration with beverage manufacturer ITOEN. The catechin component in the tea husk is used for tanning the skin. Beautiful shades and rich textures of leather were born.

The company was awarded the 2020 Good Design Award for its sustainable, circular economy-oriented design, which is an alternative to conventional consumption. It's the first leather-centric project to do so. The antibacterial effect of polyphenols and catechins matches the with-corona/after-corona era. Sales of wine pomace and tanned leather made from tea leaves have also been strong, with plans for coffee, persimmon tannin and apples in the future.

Then, the "LEZZA RESILIENCE PROJECT" was launched. In collaboration with the International College of Fashion Professionals, which nurtures professionals in the fashion business, we have sought to solve the problem of resource loss in the leather industry by focusing on "Class D Leather," a leather grade considered unsuitable for commercialization. Taking advantage of the unique characteristics of its skin, such as scratches and insect bites, it sublimates "dead stock" into "life stock." With the fresh sensibilities of the students, various ideas were realized.

One of them is the "Cow's Nail Salon" (a cat's nail clipper made of cowhide), which won the top prize in the 2022 student category at the Japan Leather Award, Japan's largest leather product competition. As stay homes take hold, it's likely to gain traction as a new category of Japan leather.

In addition, attention will be paid to the handling of gibier leather and pigskins, including Ezo sika deer, which have been noxiously caught to reduce damage to agriculture and forestry. The pigskin, produced in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, tops the national market. It is one of the few materials that can be self-sufficient domestically. The craftsmen in the Sumida Ward area inherited and honed their skills, which are also excellent. It is a firm favorite in Europe and was once adopted by Big Maison.

"Although food preferences and preferences are diversifying, we have a history of eating meat and continue to make leather without wasting meat by-products. We feel that further dialogue is necessary to promote a broader understanding. In the future, we will continue to play a role in the utilization of resources and recycling-oriented manufacturing, and work to help solve environmental problems." said Tsunekazu Tomita, president and CEO. Suggested a series of materials and sharing tips to enjoy a lifestyle with leather. The company's challenges don't stop.