See How Scottish Heritage Leather Brand
From the village of Bridge of Weir on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland, a traditional company produces ethical luxury leather for the likes of Aston Martin, McLaren, Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo. Taking its name from 1905, its automotive connections include the Ford Model D. Still working here. Tanning factories in Europe.
Weir Bridge may have been full of tradition, but the ethics here are constantly being explored and updated. To get a clearer picture of how luxury leather manufacturers can thrive in the changing transportation landscape and our growing interest in climate change, I contacted the company’s product designer, Debra Song.
What is the creative process like when you start a project with a car brand?
We contact us frequently when a customer is building a new interior car. It is one of the most exciting processes as there are no boundaries in the beginning. Designers naturally prefer cane art, leather or technical finishes. With concept cars, we can explore the landscape as much as possible.
How far do you work with interior design studios of car companies?
We work closely with the design teams. If Color, Material and Finish (CMF) designers have specific ideas for their choice, we assign a team to work closely with them to fulfill their vision. Sometimes we help customers think outside the box and design better solutions to help them realize their ideas.
How much research do you do on the content exam?
While we have a long history of making the best Scottish leather, we always strive to incorporate less traditional techniques and invest more in new technologies to incorporate into our leather product.
You donated leather to DMC DeLorean – a true avant-garde design. Can you tell us about a project to design a leather “furniture style”?
The abbreviation refers to the skin being softer and more complex than the automotive leather of the time. They want it to look like leather furniture. We draw inspiration from furniture designers and manufacturers like Eames and Dee Z. We manufactured leather, and although DeLorean went bankrupt in 1982, other car companies wanted it, and it worked for Sapil for the next 25 years and opened the door for us.
How different was your attitude from the competitors at that time?
Our competitors focus on skin that is only suitable for the automotive industry. Although leather has been donated to furniture and similar industries, we do know how to make beautiful, natural leather.
One of your exciting projects is to create the “Golden Skins” for Aston Martin’s exclusive One-77. How did you get over complete failure without the stain?
The short is to create skins that are not natural. Pure Natural Premium Skin is basically celebrating its natural beauty – imperfections make up for it. Mixing “golden skins” is no easy task. Finding oxen that do not have natural defects is equivalent to finding someone who has no cuts, grazes, or blemishes in their skin! We had little or no control before cattle came to us because oxen were reared for the meat industry.
What happened to those who didn’t get marks?
On average, only one in 200 skins that entered our factory was considered “gold”. So, to collect the eight skins needed for the One-77’s interior, we need to select 1,600 skins. The unmarked ones were of higher quality and were used in other expensive cars.
How important is it for Veer Bridge to achieve maintenance, ethical skin development and zero production waste?
Our biggest goal is to achieve a zero waste production cycle. We comply with government legislation and allocate sufficient resources for sustainable leather production. Car companies ask a lot from their suppliers and we want to lead the industry in this area.
|See How Scottish Heritage Leather Brand|
Do you have examples of steps you can take to achieve this?
In 2009 we opened our thermal power plant and took solid waste from it, heated the water, heated our water and dried our skin. The fat extracted from the skins can also be turned into bio-diesel or resale industrial oil. These innovative processes are guiding the industry, and we are constantly looking at how we can innovate going forward.
Do you see that high-quality ethics maintain their position in the leather luxury industry as many top junior drivers choose non-vegetarian and vegetarian products in their cars?
We recognize and value skin that may not be every customer’s product choice. But we will still find a product that can deliver the pure essence of sustainability and luxury. It should be noted that the preparation of leather uses a by-product of the meat industry. If we don’t take the skins off and cover the skin, they will go to the surface. We take what we waste and make beautiful leather.
Smart clothing is explored in car design to help make extreme technology humane and easy to understand. How have you connected with technology providers in this area?
We have some improvements on the ground. For now, although we cannot disclose any details, suffice it to say that in the future we will be integrating our traditional leather-making workers with embedded technologies.
The cabin will become a focal point as AI and engine learning transforms the car into a vehicle for transportation. Your leather “furniture style” for the DeLorean makes perfect sense in the car of the future, where autonomous technology gives the interior the atmosphere of a living room.