Heinen Leather & Nomad

| Words by Bryson Smith | Photos Courtesy of Heinen Tannery

Since we began making leather cases at Nomad, we have been using Horween Leather, from the famed Horween Tannery in Chicago. However, we recently started a new chapter with our active leather lineup, featuring hydrophobic leathers from the Heinen Tannery in Germany. We are excited to be working with Heinen and we are even more excited to see how the Nomad community uses our brand new iPhone 11 cases featuring active leather.

Heinen Tannery

The Tannery in Action

The Heinen Tannery has been operating for over 100 years in Wegberg, a small town in Germany near Düsseldorf. The founder, Josef Heinen, first opened his doors in 1891 and focused on providing leather for local shoe manufacturers around Düsseldorf. Over time, this business grew, and Heinen became one of the primary leather suppliers for Adidas, while they were still manufacturing shoes in Germany. Eventually, Adidas moved their production to Asia and Heinen shifted to supplying leathers for the outdoor industry. Heinen developed the first waterproof Gore-Tex leather boot for Meindl, cementing the tannery as one of the premier suppliers of high quality, waterproof leather. Today, Heinen produces leather for Fjallraven, LOWA, and other premium brands that demand the highest quality for their materials. Heinen leather is also used by military, search and rescue, and firefighting operations around the world.

Heinen produces their signature waterproof leather with an especially unique tanning process. They use naturally occurring lipids in the hide to create an entirely hydrophobic leather, meaning that the entire piece of leather is waterproof, rather than just the surface coating. More conventional methods of waterproofing involve treating the leather with a DWR or other repellents to protect the surface of the leather. However, these repellents tend to wear out over time unless they are re-treated with a repellant. Heinen does not have to be retreated to maintain its waterproof quality.

Inspecting the Hides

Terracare | Environmental Responsibility

State of the Art Machines Help Heinen Increase Their Efficiency, While Reducing Impact

Not only does Heinen pride themselves on high quality waterproofed leathers; they also take social and environmental responsibility very seriously, and hold themselves to the highest quality through their Terracare standard. Terracare ensures that all Heinen leather is produced using socially and environmentally responsible methods. Heinen only uses hides that are sourced from ethically treated cattle and gets the majority of their hides from nearby farms, keeping everything as local as possible. Heinen uses cutting edge techniques, informed by over a century of experience, to increase efficiency and conserve energy throughout the tanning process.

Tanning is traditionally a water-intensive process, with lots of runoff and wastewater creation. Heinen uses state-of-the-art machines to save water whenever possible and treats all of their wastewater so that it will not damage the local environment. Heinen also does not buy salted hides which allows them to conserve water. Hides are traditionally salted to preserve them for tanning, but the salting process generates a lot of waste. By foregoing this step, Heinen significantly reduces waste created by the tanning process.

Active Leather Lineup

The Active Leather Rugged Case for iPhone 11 Pro Max

While you can expect more Heinen Leather products from Nomad in the future, we are currently offering a lineup of cases for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. These cases are fully water-resistant and are perfect for outdoor activity and athletic pursuits. Shoot us an email at thenomadic@hellonomad.com or tag us on instagram @Nomad to share your adventures with your Active Leather case!

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