Gsc Group, the challenge of sustainability

At the fair, GSC GROUP set up a scale model to show the method that could revolutionize the tanning process: the OMW (Olive Mill Wastewater) Technology guarantees the transition from the olive oil wastewaters to leather

A huge scale model representing an innovative technology that will revolutionize the way tanning is done by taking advantage of an Italian resource. This is what GSC Group based in Montebello Vicentino, part of the Arzignano leather district, presented at its stand at the Tanning Tech exhibition in Milan in September 2023. The company is a leader in the development and production of chemical products for different segments of the tanning industry, including tanning, retanning, dyeing and finishing. “In the 2023 edition of the Fair,’ explains Diego Cisco, Export Sales Director of the Group, “we have launched a new metal-free technology, the Olive Mill Wastewater (OMW), a project on which we have been working for over a year together with other companies, each with expertise in their specific roles, and important partners, including prestigious Italian universities. The product in discussion is olive oil, of which Italy is the second largest producer in the world. Our slogan is ‘from olive oil wastewaters to leather’ as we have developed a line of products using the tanning power of olive oil wastewaters, with a view to sustainability. OMW tanning, the application of which is protected by an international patent, is environmentally sustainable and metal-free and suitable for leather in all kinds of applications and sectors. This technology is synonymous with circular economy, as OMW tanning agents are obtained from a food industry waste and applied to meat production byproduct, leather. This has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing processes.”
“OMW technology is entirely Made in Italy,” adds the Export Sales Director of the GSC Group, “as the tanning agents are made through an exclusive production process that uses, as the main raw material, olive oil wastewaters from Italian companies mainly from Tuscany and Apulia, and the production of the other few products involved in OMW tanning also takes place in our country. Apart from sustainability, as this tanning is free of metals and toxic products, the big advantage lies in the quality of the end product. The most interesting thing is that the project, which our clients and brands are greatly appreciating, allows the production of a complete range of leathers for footwear, upholstery and leather goods. In other words, we are able to cover all the articles that our customers ask us for in the different sectors, which is not an easy task given that metal-free is guaranteed. The one designed and carried out by GSC Group,” Cisco concludes, “is actually a pressing need in the market, to which we have been able to give an effective response, albeit after taking some time to find the right fit. Currently, the market is strongly demanding authentic eco-friendly products, but at the same time those who work in this sector have to be pragmatic and produce leather. We have found with this system, a good combination of a beautiful and true story of adding value to a food industry waste that appeals to the consumer, while at the same time contributing enormously to all aspects of an environmental nature. With a certain pride, I also like to emphasize that we at GSC Group launch something new on the market only when we are sure that it works and, as in this case, when it is also able to guarantee high-level hides. We as a chemical company have approached tanneries, which in turn are presenting the project to their clients, with very positive feedbacks. There is worldwide interest, confirming that eco-sustainability is now a universal goal, above all on the part of large groups working with important brands, which are not only those of high fashion, but also those of so-called ‘fast fashion’, therefore placing the right value on the authenticity of the leather. This is a historic turning point that we have managed to foresee and which is destined to revolutionize the market.”

Diego Cisco, Export Sales Director Francesco Serafini, Research and Development Mgr.