“People don’t believe you can walk on leather,” says Christian Nadeau, principal of EcoDomo, which imports and distributes leather floor tiles. Naturally, he’s happy to prove those people wrong: EcoDomo’s tiles are made of a leather composite that looks and feels like the real thing but has the advantage of being durable, long-lasting, and resistant to abrasions and moisture.
It’s also environmentally benign. The company collects scraps discarded during the production of BMW car-seat upholstery, luxury handbags, and other fine leather goods, which are then ground into shreds and mixed with water, natural rubber, and acacia bark. The manufacturing is done in South America (Nadeau hesitates to reveal the exact location, for fear of competitors’ poaching his production method) using a closed-loop system to conserve water. The final product is eligible for LEED credits as a recycled low-VOC material. “Everything we do, we try to be green,” Nadeau says.
At last November’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, in Chicago, EcoDomo released a new version of its tiles, with hand-stitching by Amish artisans in Pennsylvania. Since the nylon stitching is not as durable as the composite leather, these tiles are best suited for wall treatments, stair threads, or borders around the perimeter of a room—adornments that the Amish might reject as a bit showy but that the U.S. Green Building Council, fortunately, does not.
Recycled postindustrial leather, natural rubber, and acacia bark, with optional nylon stitching
Durable, sound-absorbent, and easy to install and maintain, the tiles are available in nine colors and four textures.
A flooring and wall-covering material for residential and commercial applications
14 650 F Rothgeb Dr.
Rockville, MD 20850