Pirarucu Leather Awarded the GCC® Brandmark

Livia Firth, Oskar Metsavaht and guests celebrate Eco-Age awarding the GCC Brandmark to Pirarucu fish leather – a luxurious material which is championed and supported by Osklen.

Vincent Cassel, Ellen Von Unwerth and Will Cartier joined Livia Firth and Oskar Metsavaht, creative director of iconic Brazilian brand Osklen in Paris today to celebrate Eco-Age awarding the GCC® Brandmark to Pirarucu fish leather.

Pirarucu leather is a beautifully textured alternative to bovine (cow) leather and is made from waste Pirarucu fish skin. Produced in Brazil, the creation of pirarucu leather supports communities in the Amazon biome through income generation and biodiversity preservation. Osklen is championing this by-product material for the fashion industry, using it to create 48% of its leather accessories including bags and footwear, working to ensure the process is conducted in a socially, economically, environmentally-conscious way.

Traditionally Pirarucu has been fished for food and the skin discarded, but together with Brazilian tannery Nova Kaeru and the research centre Instituto-E, Osklen has helped to develop this waste product into a luxury material, created using a low impact tanning process. Osklen has worked with Nova Kaeru for more than 10 years; the tannery sources the by-product fish skins from strictly monitored farms or through riverside communities in the Amazon region; Osklen also works closely with these communities, visiting regularly with Instituto-E.

We are thrilled to have been able to work with Osklen to celebrate such a positive material that can support local economies and social development. This work currently supports 378 riverside communities in the state of Amazon and the state of Acre, who through fishing Pirarucu are supported not only through income generation and job creation, but also through long-term initiatives such as training programmes.

Additionally, Osklen can demonstrate supply chain traceability through the ability to track each skin back to source through IBAMA stamps. IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources) is the Brazilian environmental agency and ensures that sustainable stock management practices are being followed so that Pirarucu numbers do not deplete. Since the implementation of the sustainable management plan for Pirarucu 20 years ago, the Pirarucu stock has increased 427%, which has helped to stabilise a traditional food source and the local economy of the region. When compared to cattle farming, Pirarucu also causes lower CO2 emissions and avoids deforestation of the Amazon; it has been found that farmers have achieved 40% higher productivity than raising cattle in the same plot of land. 

The GCC® Brandmark is awarded to individual products, collections or materials once they have been validated against the Eco-Age Principles.

Images: Livia Firth Signing GCC Brandmark Award, Oskar Metsavaht and Livia Firth

Images: Vincent Cassel , Oskar Metsavaht, Ellen Von Unwerth, Livia Firth, Willy Cartier, Livia Firth and Oskar Metsavaht