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The Vegetable Leather: ecological innovation in Amazonia

Taygra is launching a range of ethical & 100 % handmade shoes, using some innovating mateirals & technology 100% eco-friendly. TAYGRA is glad to introduce for the first time in the footwear industry the VEGETABLE LEATHER also called "RAINFOREST CANVAS", directly coming from the extractivist protected areas of South Amazonia, strictly, respecting the people & their environment.

 

 

The textile

The textile is realised on cotton or burlap frames, on which rubbertree milk is delicately poured. This process is 100% handmade and can not be industrialised, so the production of this material is very limited, & need experience & know-how of specialised people that earn better wages through this labour. With those better life conditions, they can remain in the rainsforest & continue protecting it from the wild deforestation.

The workers in the protected areas

Extraction de l'arbre hévéaProtected areas are divided in colocations, each inhabitant must protect its own area and avoid foreigners & unauthorized people to cross it. To live, they are allowed to plant their own orchard, cultivate their own garden, grow domestic animals, fish & hunt (for instance rodents & wild porks).

The inhabitants of this preservation reserve are affiliated to a cooperative of rubbermen (Seringueiros) to whom they sell the recolted rubber from native rubbertrees (hevea) that they slash respectuously. The trunk are lacerated cyclically in order to regenerate the sap, and this technics allows to the rubber tree  donne à l'arbre longevity and vivacity.

With the drop of the rate of the rubber due to the export of seeds of rubbertree to South-East Asia in the 80th, the raw material is being sold at a extremly low price, and this doesn't allow anymore to the workers the minimum wages. Transforming the raw material in the Rainforest Canvas or Vegan Leather allows them to earn 10 times more.

The fabrication

Lait d'hevea versé sur la nappe de cotonHowever it is a hard labour, the worker must use a liquid sap, and the latex beginns to coagulate after 12 hours, so he needs to recolt it quickly, day by day. Afteron a cotton or burlap canvas is hooked on a wooden frame, then the producer pours the rubber milk regularly so that the canvas is totally moistened by the precious sap.

Nappe en cuir végétalThis milk can be tinted with natural biological colorants nor trough a defumation process, with a deep smoke made out of babaçu nut, that will give the canvas its brown colour, light or almost dark depending on the time it has spent under the smoke. The obtained material is very edel & looks like animal leather. Moreover, this technique allows the rubber to loose a lot of its typicall smell to be more sweety & wild. The defumation is realised in a small hut made out of palmtree leaves & with an open ceiling, so that the smoke realised on the ground with a small oven that looks like a vulcan can go away.

The canvases pieces have to go trough various steps of drying at the sun or in sweating-rooms, and the thickness of the material will depend on the quantity of times this process is repeated.

In avergae it is necessary 6 bathes of latex to get a correct thickness cotton canvas, more for  the burlap. The realisation of a piece of canvas requires 30 minutes more or less. Depending on the climatic conditions & the availability of raw material (rubbertree sap), lhe worker and its family will be able to make up to 20 pieces of vegetable leather canvas per jour. If he has a steaming-room, he will be able to double its production.

Utilisation

Produits en cuir végétal

 

The Rainforest Canvas can allow the confection of TAYGRA shoes, but as well fashion cloting, acessorios, jewellery...

TAYGRA is proud to be the settler of this edel brand new material on the market. TAYGRA wants to sing the praises of the quality of the people and the labour of the cooperative of rubbermen COOPFLORA in Mochadinho d'Oeste in the state of Rondonia, South Amazonia.


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