Transforming Leather Waste into Sustainable Design

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March 1, 2024
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12 Min


In a groundbreaking collaboration, I joined forces with the Scottish Leather Group to pioneer a solution for the growing issue of leather waste and offcuts generated in the manufacturing process of the UK automotive industry. Together, we embarked on a mission to implement a circular infrastructure, leveraging innovative practices to transform waste into a valuable resource. This initiative aligns seamlessly with the ethos of sustainable design, focusing on minimising environmental impact while fostering creativity and style.

Circular Innovation at the Scottish Leather Group:

The Scottish Leather Group has been at the forefront of circular innovation, integrating a revolutionary circular infrastructure into their leather manufacturing process. Their commitment is exemplified through the utilisation of a freshwater loch and an advanced water recycling system, minimising water consumption and environmental impact. Notably, they've harnessed cutting-edge technology to convert solid waste into gas, a testament to their dedication to a circular and eco-friendly approach.

Designing for the Future:

Inspired by the sustainable initiatives of the Scottish Leather Group, I conceptualised and executed a project with far-reaching implications. My design journey led me to collaborate with the Museum of the Future in Dubai and Selfridges in London. The aim was to create a collection of fashion accessories that not only embodied cutting-edge aesthetics but also championed sustainability through the innovative use of leather waste.

The Museum of the Future, Dubai:

Our project for the Museum of the Future in Dubai was a testament to the transformative power of sustainable design. The collection showcased how discarded leather materials could be repurposed into elegant and contemporary fashion accessories. By intertwining art, technology, and sustainability, the exhibition aimed to inspire visitors to reconsider the potential of waste materials and embrace a circular mindset.

Selfridges, London:

In collaboration with Selfridges in London, our collection took center stage, turning the spotlight on the intersection of fashion, sustainability, and innovation. The partnership aimed to redefine the narrative of luxury by demonstrating that exquisite design could be achieved without compromising environmental responsibility. Each accessory narrated a story of circularity, inviting consumers to be part of a fashion revolution that values both style and the planet.


The collaboration with the Scottish Leather Group and the subsequent projects with the Museum of the Future and Selfridges exemplify the transformative power of sustainable design. By addressing the leather waste issue in the automotive industry and reimagining it as a valuable resource, we've not only contributed to a circular economy but also reshaped the narrative of contemporary fashion. As we continue to push boundaries and explore new avenues, the journey toward sustainable and circular design promises a future where style and responsibility coexist harmoniously.


Rhys Ellis


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