A case of natural selection

In addition to upholding and surpassing International Maritime Organization safety standards, YSA Design makes a point of specifying the most sustainable solutions for interior spaces at sea, including sourcing the woods it uses from secure plantations. Natural materials can often be the most durable as well as the most aesthetically pleasing option, but must also be sourced responsibly, and the same levels of integrity should apply to all substances used to treat and preserve them.

Given the demand for leather products worldwide, leather tanning remains a highly specialised activity that retains an element of mystique. Nevertheless, like any other industrial process, it has become the subject of intense scrutiny as far as environmental impact is concerned. “As elsewhere, YSA Design’s preference on this most versatile of natural materials is to work with suppliers who provide quality and comfort, but also take responsibility on safety and the environment rather than being driven by regulation,” says Fabiana Vale Dornelas.

Exemplary is Elmo Leather, our Swedish supplier, whose sea-going products are marketed under the Elmotech brand, denoting a soft, semi-aniline grain leather from Scandinavian cattle. With a heavy, flame resistant structure developed for safety and durability, the materials nonetheless retain leather’s natural appearance and comfort.

“A broad range of colours is available to match different environments, dyed through and tested at Elmo’s laboratory,” Fabiana adds. “A hide is selected at random from every batch and checked to make sure that it meets IMO performance requirements [certificate IMO A652(16)]. At the same time, Elmo’s reputation has been built on the investments it has been making in tanning processes using water-based coatings, where it has pioneered discharge water purification using its own treatment plant.”