People matter, stories matter, places matter, process matters, creativity matters, doing good for our planet matters.
SHEONG SHI TANNERY
We are working together with Sheong Shi Tannery which has been around since the 1990s where Patrick and Veronica are the proud owners. Their eco-leather goes through a vegetable tanning method where natural tannins found in plants and trees are used. The vegetable tanning process allows the natural imperfections of the skin to become part of the finished product making each hide unique.
We like working with Sheong Shi because our passion and values align. Patrick believes that the protection and conservation of the environment is our moral responsibility. To fulfil this responsibility they have taken steps in the manufacturing process to reduce their carbon footprint. Three key area of focus are:
- Energy Consumption - The building was constructed in a U Shape to minimize the energy consumption as there is more daylight throughout the space. Since electric lighting is reduced the building cooling energy usage is also minimized. Through this optimal integration of daylight strategies there are studies that indicate daylit buildings also help increase worker productivity and decrease absenteeism.
- Water Consumption - During the monsoon season, Sheong Shi practises rain harvesting. Water is collected in their reservoir which is used in the leather making process. Afterwards, the used water is purified in a central purification facility.
- Waste Management - Patrick takes proper measures and guidelines to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. For example, he follows strict international protocols ensuring that all effluent going out of his tannery premises are treated properly. It is then sent to the Central Effluent treatment plant where further treatment is done. All this is done under the supervision of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board and the Central Pollution Control Board.
In addition, Sheong Shi also exercises fair trade practices. The wellbeing of the workers form an integral part of their entire company operation. Fair wages are paid, health benefits is provided, and pension funds are offered.
We are proud to be working with EMA which has been around since the 1970s. They are a fair trade organization supporting poor artisans, farmers, craftsmen, and weavers. Fair wages are paid, education aid is offered and health benefits are provided.
The factory is located 40 km from central Kolkata, India. It is nestled away from the hectic city life and the 7 acre area is a tranquil place. There is a pond for organic fish farming and a fresh garden where fruits and vegetables are grown. The centre houses the marketing department and its team of producers. The artisans produce various handmade items and Apkka’s eco leather bags are one of them. Everyday there is fresh lunch that is provided and everyone eats together too!
EMA believes in promoting a safe and healthy working environment. We are proud to work with them because they also believe in the future of handmade. Together we want to make awesomeness happen for our communities globally.