Costa Rican Women Produce Fashion Items with Fish Leather

    From discarded skins, Puntarenas women produce resistant footwear, clothing, and accessories

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    A group of women from Puntarenas ventures into the production of fish leather for the manufacture of fashion items such as footwear, clothing, and accessories. The initiative, promoted by the MarViva Foundation, uses fish skin that was considered waste, to transform it into a resistant, durable, and excellent quality raw material.

    As part of the process, 59 people linked to the fishing sector, mostly women, received training in production, marketing and administrative tasks. In addition, the project has seed capital as the first impulse in the consolidation of this activity, as well as support for at least 3 years.

    For Cristina Sánchez, MarViva Science Manager and project coordinator: “This is a productive alternative that is aligned with the skills that people associated with the fishing sector already possess, in addition to taking advantage of a material that, to this day, is discarded”.

    The process to make the leather can be carried out in addition to the fishing activities carried out by these families, which will generate additional income and thus improve their quality of life. We have everything from shrimp ex-peelers and housewives to women with informal jobs.

    Islita, Fray Casiano, Bella Vista, Costa de Pájaros and Barrio El Carmen are the communities benefiting from the initiative, the latter being the one that houses the first tannery, while work is being done on the opening of the other headquarters.

    International trend in vegan fashion

    In 2005, Puma presented sophisticated tennis shoes made in Argentina with Alosa leather. They were sold at the Puma Concept Store and at the designer Martín Churba’s premises, as well as on the Internet. Meanwhile, the design brand Thalie Paris offers the “Sushi” collection, which is made with IctyosSquamaLuxe that comes from recycling salmon skins from agri-food industries and French sushi restaurants.

    Livia, by Thalie Paris, sells for €595

    Developed in Lyon by IctyosCuirsMarins de France, Ictyos uses vegetable tanning, a process that does not involve harmful substances such as chromium and heavy metals and is widely used in traditional tanning. Thanks to Ictyos, Thalie Paris is able to create value-added products by transforming salmon skin waste into a luxury resource that reduces our environmental footprint and thus contributes to a circular and restorative system. Thalie markets herself as “recycled marine leather turned into art” and draws inspiration from 1930s modernism.

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    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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