Fish Skin Product Development

Topics: Leather, Skin, Tanning Pages: 5 (1675 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Essay Product Development Ruta Preibyte INTRODUCTION Have you ever heard that fish leather can be used in fashion industry? Anyway, people get strange feeling after hearing this fact, but when they touch it, they usually fall in love with fish leather products. I will explain the whole process how fish leather products happened to be on the market from different points of view: prehistory, ecology, economy, ergonomics, ethics and aesthetics by taking particular product – ‘Aston Leathers’ handbag. To begin with, fishing is one of the most popular activities in the north countries every now and then. Therefore it is very natural that people eat lots of fish and came up with the idea to use what is left after dinner (fish skin). From the very beginning people didn’t know how to process fish skin. Therefore, they just cleaned the skin, removed oil from the skin and stretched to dry, this procedure was called to spit a skin. This type of method is quite good, but cannot make fish skin longlasting and strong enough. Anyway, they used fish leather for shoes, slippers, clothes and even for household. However, everything changed when man got idea how to preserve fish skin in a different way – to tan fish skin. I will give an example how quite famous company in Reykjavik named ‘Aston Leathers’ is running business mostly related to fish skin tanning and introducing fish leather products to fashion industry nowadays.

ECOLOGY From the ecology point of view, we face double feeling about being friendly to nature and useing fish leather in fashion industry. From the very first look it seems to be natural, eco-friendly but at the same time luxurious, this is all true… BUT… Firstly, for producing fish skin products we need fish – which is a part of nature and that means we destroying nature in order to look fancy and fashionable. It is quite the same discussion as about fur. Environmentalists express their disapproval and angriness on this kind of business. But to who is against fur, fish leather or other goods which comes from animals, we can say that it is also kind of utilization process. As famous fur designer in London and Malmo Eggert Johannsson said: ‘ We must not forget that the hunter, the fisherman, the meat processor, the tanner and the furrier play important roles in maintaining the balance and the stability of nature’. Companies, who produce and use fish skin for developing products, are more than environmentally friendly. They work together with fish industry which makes fish filets and other fish products and usually fish skin is a waste for them, but since designers found out that fish skin is very suitable for fashion, they signed an agreement – eatable part of fish goes for fish industry and not eatable for fashion industry. To sum up, it is a win win. However, not all the glitters are gold. In order to prepare fish skin for fashion products, it needs lots of different chemicals ( for removing all the oil/fat from the skin, for cleaning the skin, for removing scales, finally for preserving and colouring). This results in poisoning nature. However, the right fish skin tanning process makes fish leather long-lasting and this results in that products which are made from fish skin is likely to serve its’ function for way more longer time and that means customers do not need to buy new product very fast as it would happened if customer had bought not high quality bag, made from artificial leather. All in all, we cannot be categorical when we talk about fish leather products and ecology, there are many positive facts as well as negative.

ETHICS To begin with, it is very easy to imagine how the hand bag is produced. Firstly, designers make sketches, decide the shape and choose the materials for the bag. Secondly, designers show the sketches to engineers and they decide which way is the best for making the bag. Thirdly, the bag is made and then begins management business – how and where to sell the bag and how to advertise...
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