This Sustainable Leather Is Made From Fish Skin

This fish skin is being tuned into wearable leather to help cut back on food waste.

The skins are de-scaled, dried in the sun for an entire day, the soaked and stretched out. The process is called fish tanning.
Newton Owino started a fish tanning business in Kisumu, Kenya after seeing so much fish being wasted.

“In Kisumu we have several filleting industries. Fish filleting industries. They produce close to 150,000 metric tons of waste,” he explained. “80% of this is actually fish skin. Initially, this fish skin used to be thrown [away].”

After just six years, Owino hired 12 employees to help create the fish leather and turn it into affordable shoes and clothing.

“If we have fish, why can’t we be proud of our fish, and use it more economically and be proud of it?” asked the business’ customer Lawrence Odero. “So when I put on the shoes made from fish leather, I put on the cape as well as the jacket, I feel happy, I feel very proud.”

Fishing is a huge industry in Kisumu and Owino hopes to eventually be able to produce the fish at an even bigger scale to help curb food waste in the region and beyond.