Fish skin sustainability and innovation, Horizon 2020.

Fish skin sustainability and innovation, Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €77 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract.

Horizon 2020 will help to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering solutions to big challenges facing our society.

Atlantic leather is proud to be a part of this program and we are so excited to be working with experts in their own field and we cannot wait to start the work, which will in the end lead us to even more sustainable solutions.

The Atlantic leather team attended the Kick-off event in Eilat Israel with great results. The project will bring together a community of experts including fashion design academics, scientists and artisans, with the aim of improve knowledge of sustainable methods for fish skin production to address the pressing sustainability issues in the current fashion industry.

We will keep you posted.


The Icelandic lamb.


The Icelandic lamb.

The Icelandic wool has kept the nation warm for more than 1100 years. Originally, the sheep was brought here from Norway by the settlers and without it Iceland would have been uninhabitable. The sheep´s wool served as protection from the biting cold of the harsh northern climate.

As a breed, the Iceland Sheep is unique, its purity has been protected by centuries of isolation and a total absence of contact with others. Therefore the wool it produces has no counterpart anywhere. Due to the absence of contact with other breeds, the Icelandic sheep still carries characteristics long disappeared from their relatives in the neighbouring countries.

The wool has a distinctive combination of inner (thel) and outer (tog) fibres. The outer fibres consists of long and coarse hair with water repellent qualities. The inner layer of fibres are fine, soft and insulating, providing a high resistance to cold. Combining the two provides an exceptional thread for producing clothing that gives warmth in spite of getting wet. The Icelandic wool is;

  • Lightweight - lighter than most other wools, keeps you warm and comfortable.

  • Water-repellent - repels rain and stays feeling dry.

  • Breathable - moisture passes through the fibres away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable.

The fleece differs depending on the age of the animal, whereas lamb’s wool is the softest and finest but old rams bear the roughest wool. The four basic colours of the Icelandic breed are black, white, yellow and moorit with numerous combinations and colour patterns, such as badger face, grey or moorit mofloun and other bi-colour variations. Although many will admit to having a soft spot for various colour patterns, the white wool is the most sought-after, and therefore the most common sheep colour in Iceland.


Atlantic leathers sustainability


Atlantic leathers sustainability

In short term our process is like this; we get all our skins from the food industry as a by-product.    We are really fortune living in Iceland since we have plenty of hot water in our ground from geothermal sources-renewable resource, also our electricity all comes from a hydroelectric power station. So you can see that our production really relies on our nature, that is also why we have waste water treatment that takes away the chemicals that we don‘t want to have in the nature, and then it is disposed in a correct way.


Atlantic Leather has the goal to keep the natural characteristic of the skins in first place as well making all the skins in environmental friendly way chrome free tanning and using the natural sources of hot spring water and hydroelectric power for our production. The tannery is very close to the source of the raw material so transport will be as light as possible to limit the carbon footprint of the production and distribution to minimal.


The production

We have from the beginning had the goal to use not hazardous chemicals in the production and all development have been worked from that point.

We use soap, the soap has similar ingredients as dish washing liquid, we use lime to remove the scales with crucial help of enzymes, and tanning is play of PH and to control that we use baking soda and formic acid in the tanning. In the process we have to remove all natural fat from the skin, but to have soft leather we need fat. So the natural one is replaced with special fat created from vegetables oil and fish oil. For the tanning (conservation for the collagen) we use chrome as basic supported by aluminium and synthetic tanning agents. Chrome is available in several forms (chrome 6 is the poison one with bad reputation) we use chrome 3 that is not dangerous in that form, in the tanning it’s possible that the chrome changes into other forms of chrome. Test have shown that it doesn’t happen in our process. We also offers other tanning methods where we use tree bark to make the tanning, we use Mimosa tree bark (other type can be used). When it comes to dyeing the skins, we always use AZO free dyes. For the finishing we use water based acrylic and urethane based compounds (similar to paint we use in our homes).

all tests have shown that we are well under the chemical regulation of European Union as well we treat our waste water before it goes out to from the factory  with very simple teqnigue that call for very small investment to install.

We have lot of projects going on in development, one is chrome free tanning (due to bad reputation of chrome the market is calling for it) and many other projects that is asked for or will be called for in the future.    


Designer of the week; LAKS BY LISA


Lisa Pindel is a German designer based in Oslo, Norway where she has been living since 2005. She has a Master degree in Fashion and Costume design from Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Khio). She was involved in various international Art- and Design projects and received Cumulus Design Prize in Copenhagen in 2005.

Apart from being a designer for her own brand, she has designed gloves for a Norwegian glove wholesaler and has also a long experience as a buying assistant in fashion business. Lisa is a mother of two little boys and enjoys living in the western city centre of Oslo with her family.

Lisa started using fish leather (salmon leather only) in 2010. In the same year, Laks by Lisa was established and the first collection was launched in 2011. ”Laks” is the Norwegian word for salmon. Lisa was wondering if it was possible to use salmon leather as a material for accessories since she liked eating salmon dishes and was curious about what actually happened to the skins/ leftovers. Salmon was the material she wanted to concentrate on and work with as it had all the qualities she was looking for: innovative, sustainable production, ”exotic” material but ethically justifiable as salmon is not an endangered species and is a by-product of the food industry, and besides being attractive on the outside it is also very solid. Plus, the surface of every fish skin is quite different from each other which makes every piece very unique in the end. Lisa discovered Atlantic Leather in 2015 after having seen other Norwegian designers using it. She ordered samples and immediately fell in love with the beautiful metallic color variations of the salmon leather. Atlantic Leather offers a very unique, innovative color range that is not to be found by any other supplier. And for a designer based in Scandinavia, it is a nice aspect to use leather with origin from the North Atlantic ocean.


Even though Lisa is an educated Fashion designer, she has preferred working with accessories since the very beginning in 2001 when she started as a trainee for a small tailoring atelier in her hometown Weinheim. While studying different patterns for evening dresses and jackets, Lisa always ended up creating small hand bags that would fit to those dresses. This has been a ”red thread” throughout all the years of being a fashion student and she eventually found out that this was her real passion, not actually working with clothes. Lisa experimented with many fabrics such as silk and cotton, and little by little started working with leather scraps as this felt quite ”natural” for her concerning working with bags and accessories.

Since her Master project for her graduation at Oslo National Academy of the Arts IN 2007, Lisa has been working with leather accessories only. In the beginning, she used mainly leather from second hand clothing stores which she turned into bags and pouches and then experimented with printing and painting on the leather. The main reason for using second hand leather was the color variations those old jackets offered and the idea of using recycled material.

In general, Lisa´s favourite colors are bold and bright ”80s”- colors such as hot pink or purple, but she also has a weakness for pastels (especially peach/ nude and mint green).


From the Atlantic Leather color palette, her favourites are the metallic variations, especially the rainbow surface and the silver and beige/nude tones as well as the new holographic surface.

Lisa really appreciates that fish leather has become more and more popular during the years. When she started researching and using this material in 2010, it was barely known and now it has become a stable element among bag designers in the Nordic and European countries. It is a great substitute for other exotic leathers such as snake skin or skins of endangered species. Yet it has its own characteristic appearance and is very versatile. While researching about the history of salmon leather, Lisa found out that during the Second world war, people in Norway were using fish leather for shoes due to the lack of leather in general. At this time, the tanning of fish leather was probably rather poorly developed and not comparable to the modern tanning processes. It is interesting how the use and qualities of materials have changed during the decades; today we are using fish leather because of it´s sustainability and beauty, and it is even a bit more expensive than many other kinds of leather.


In the collection of Laks by Lisa, salmon leather is combined with calf and goat leather. The products are manufactured in a company close to Krakow, Poland with European craftsmanship and consciousness. Lisa herself is a quarter Polish and her relatives are mainly from Krakow- area. The product range is including bags, clutches as well as a variety of hair accessories and earrings. The smaller goods are hand-made in Oslo by Lisa herself and created out of the left-overs from the bag production as she appreciates the thought of ”using everything available”. The collection is characterized by a combination of clear yet playful patterns inspired by Scandinavian simplicity, with a touch of vintage rounded off with practical solutions. The brand represents the idea if “slow fashion”, which means that the products are built to last.


Models of the collection are currently available at selected shops in Norway and a gift shop in Tokyo, Japan as well as in Lisa´s own web shop. During the last years, products of Laks by Lisa have been sold and exhibited in countries such as Italy, Germany, Japan and Norway.

Lisa also enjoys a lot working with customer orders (accessories for brides, such as bags or hair pieces, bow ties for men etc.) and other similar projects; for example, she has created origami-inspired hair bows that were sold at Oslo National Gallery in 2016 in connection with the popular Scandinavian exhibition ”Japanomania in the North”.


















Mæya Amsterdam - a team of designers with a flair for sustainability!

Mæya Amsterdam - a team of designers with a flair for sustainability!

In 2016, four friends- Remy Steenkamp, Jessie Smit, Ischa Moonen and Raoel van Groeningen - united by their passion for fashion and their interest in sustainability decided to combine their forces of creativity under the name MÆYA Amsterdam.

Remy Steenkamp, Jessie Smit, Ischa Moonen and Raoel van Groeningen - the innovative fashion designers striving for sustainability!

Remy Steenkamp, Jessie Smit, Ischa Moonen and Raoel van Groeningen - the innovative fashion designers striving for sustainability!

In their fashion creations, the friends strive to use material that is fashionable yet environmentally concious and through that filter they came to know the fishleather at Atlantic Leather. The fact that the leather‘s origins is a byproduct from the food industry fascinated the designers among its many other appealing characteristics and quality.

When asked about the name – Mæya – the designers explain that they wanted to use an Icelandic women‘s name, and Mæya appealed to them the most due to it‘s unique characters. Mæya is an Icelandic shortening for the name María and most women with the name María in Iceland are indeed called Mæya. 

Mæya Amsterdam is found both on facebook and Instagram (links to both pages are below picture) and the official website can be found here:

* Link to Mæya Amsterdam facebook page:

*Link to Mæya Amsterdam Instagram page:

And we kick off yet another season of exhibitions, now in Paris :)

And we kick off yet another season of exhibitions, now in Paris :)

It's Premiere Vision time once again!

February 7th 2017 marks the start of the awesome Premiere Vision in Paris and of course Atlantic Leather will have a booth there until the end of the show at February 9th 2017.

Hall 3 is the place, Stand G71-H72 is your destination and Icelandic innovative fishleather will be the object of your amazement!

We look forward to meeting you, greeting you and giving you samples of our leather and a taste of Icelandic chocolate!

Olga Noronha - An avant garde jewelry designer!

Olga Noronha is a young jewelry designer who we sponsored last year with a few pieces of fish leather. Her pieces are a coherent mix of unconventional charm, exquisite and boundary-pushing, a combination which makes it impossible not to distinguish her individuality among other jewelry desingers! For those reasons, we at Atlantic Leather chose to go into a collaboration with her, and her work speaks for itself! Her pieces are absolutely breathtaking!

By clicking HERE you can see a video of her runway show, but let's look at some photos as well:

Atlantic Leather honored in Hong Kong by World Leather Magazine 2016!


Last week, our CEO Gunnsteinn Björnsson attended a gala dinner in Hong Kong where the awards "Tannery of the Year" were presented by World Leather Magazine. Atlantic Leather was chosen in the fall of 2015 as one of the finalists for the "Tannery of the Year Awards - Europe Territory", and during the gala we were announced as the winner in our category! 

Gunnsteinn ánægður2.jpg

We are extremely grateful and humble for this honor and extremely proud! These awards are the result of hard work, efficiency and determination in following our goal of innovation and sustainability!

In July 2015, a panel of judges visited Atlantic Leather which inspected our premesis. The judges took into consideration how the tannery process was executed, how the staff was treated, the factory's surroundings and how we benefit our small community.

Atlantic Leather met all standards resulting in us proudly being able to call ourselves "Tannery of the Year - Europe Winner!"


Designer of the week: Bav Tailor

Born in London, Creative Entrepreneur Bav Tailor followe her passion at a young age all the way to Milan, Italy where she studied design at one of the most prestigious Fashion and Design schools in Milan - IED Moda Lab.

After finishing school, Bav then went on to developing her brand - a collective fusion of sharp tailoring, geometrical forms and finest certified natural fabrics that represent true hallmarks of Made In Italy and Eco-Sustainability, always keeping her brands Mantra in mind:

Respect your body


your sphere

In memoir of her Grandfathers, the great Sartoralists, the brand upholds the tradition of creating sartorial pieces, that through amalgamating countries which represent excellence in craftsmanship, materials and printing techniques, offers clients an effortless tailor-made fit allowing freedom of movement and peace of mind during one’s evolution of conscious awareness. 

Bav Tailor can be found on social media:



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A WOW design - Further North!

WOW air, the Icelandic airline, publishes an inflight magazine, and in one of those magazines, they interviewed one of Atlantic Leather's dearest customers - Auður Gná, a designer working under the name Further North!

Below you will find the article, enjoy!

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Designer of the week: Valentina Tinganelli!

Our designer of the week, Valentina Tinganelli is a born and raised Icelander with roots in the Italian city Napoli. The half Icelandic/ half Italian designer grew up with one foot in Napoli, spending time with her big Italian family

Valentina Tinganelli



When it came to choosing schools, the designer went with IED Design and Fashion school in Rome, where she later gratuated with honorswith a Bachelor degree in shoe-and accessoriedesign. 

Her final project drew the judge‘s attention, both for the quality of the craftmanship in her handbags and her chosen theme: Icelandic nature and traditions in Italian craftmanship. Today, she tries to intergrade this theme into all her designs, by in any way connecting each piece of design to Iceland whilst having the item handcrafted in Italy.


Valentina Tinganelli can be found on social media:


We kick off exhibition season in Kobenhagen!


We kick off exhibition season in Kobenhagen!

We are sailing into the season of exhibitions, and Atlantic Leather will start the season off at The exhibition NORTHMODERN - Furniture and lifestyle strade show!

The exhibition is located at Center Blvd. 5, 230 Kobenhagen Denmark and the opening hours are:

January 13th: 09:00-18:00
January 14th: 09:00-18:00
January 15th: 09:00-18:00

Atlantic Leather will be stationed at stand number W1 accompanied by our friends at DANISH FASHION INSTITUTE! We welcome you at our stand and look forward to seeing you!