NYVIDD FISH LEATHER – VISLEER FOUNDATION

Thin, flexible, strong – and, of course, water-repellent. These properties make fish skin attractive for fashion and interior designers. Thanks to its interwoven fibres fish leather is more resistant than cow hide – despite being so much thinner. Nyvidd’s fish skin comes from Iceland, which is not only known for its impressive landscapes but also for that Icelandic proximity to nature. The name of the label is composed of the Icelandic words “ny” and “vídd”, which roughly translates as “New Dimension”.

Fish leather, however, is anything but new. In Iceland fish skins were already used for making shoes centuries ago. But the know-how associated with the scaly skins of sea creatures got lost over time.

For some years fish skin is being increasingly used in fashion again – Nyvidd has sold it since 1994.

The commercial agency wants to bring about a change in perspective, to re-develop existing resources. As a waste product of the fisheries industry the skins of salmon, grouper, cod or seabass are not used – although their individual, exotic textures constitute a real alternative to luxury leather gained from endangered reptile species.

Recently, the company established the Visleer Foundation with the aim of making fish leather more popular as a sustainable alternative. The Foundation therefore carries out research in the field of sustainable tanning and dyeing also in collaboration with designers. The long-term goal is to create an expert network to promote improvements in the value chain for fish leather.
As part of a Foundation project Nyvidd has cooperated with students from the Technical University of Eindhoven. Here the first fish skins were subjected to bacteria-based dyeing processes. Fish just on a plate? Too valuable for that.