Moore & Giles Olive Green technology for sustainable leather options

Our Most Sustainable Leathers: Madrid & Pamplona with Olive Green technology

Using wet-green® tanning from discarded olive leaves, sustainable leather is the future of fine upholstery.

By Kathryn Moczulski

Are you seeking a sustainable upholstery? Sustainable tannery may not be the first to come to mind, but with hides being a natural waste byproduct of the beef industry, leather is a fine choice. Not only is leather upholstery long-lasting, its natural beauty can be restored several times over, and it keeps hides from the meat industry out of landfills.

Now, with our new line of Madrid and Pamplona leathers from Moore and Giles, the story of sustainability is extended.  

Olive Green Leather, was first developed in 2006, and uses the latest technology in tanning sustainable leather fabric: wet-green® tanning. It has continued to improve since its conception, adding rich colors and varying levels of wax finishes.

This uniquely sustainable technology begins with the fallen leaves from olive treesMoore & Giles Olive Green technology for sustainable leather options – an existing byproduct that has always just been collected and burned. These once-discarded leaves are then brewed in the wet-green® tanning agent, completely made 100% organic olive leaf extract. Here’s why we love this sustainable tannery option:

Olive Green leather

  • Requires less water and energy to produce
  • Is 100% natural, with no harmful or toxic chemicals
  • The dyes are water-soluble
  • Is extremely supple, and perfect for upholstery, unlike many stiff vegetable-tanned leathers

Most modern-day leathers are tanned with a chemical called chromium. Chrome tanned leathers provide brilliance and suppleness to leather, but it’s not required in all countries to purify the wastewater (however, the European Union, where many of our leathers are tanned does require this purification). Often this wastewater is returned back to the environment, which isn’t great for anyone. 

Not so with Olive Green. We’re not joking when we say you could actually drink the tanning agent for these Olive Green sustainable leather fabrics! Not that we recommend doing so, olives are probably better for pressing, not tea.

After tanning, hides are finished with natural oils in water-soluble lacquer bases to achieve a brilliant polished surface and color transparency. Olive Green Leather joins the world of rich colors and allows a more supple hand in a sustainable leather product. These leathers; Madrid and Pamplona, are the first Declare, Red List-free leather options available in the world. From raw hides preserved on ice instead of salt, to organic tanning agents, to longevity and durability of the finished hides, to finally, its ability to biodegrade, Olive Green Leathers have changed the way we think about the sustainability of upholstery leather.

This is the future of leather tanning. We can’t wait for more sustainable leather fabric and sustainable tannery like this to emerge on the market. 

Take a look for yourself – Thomas Lamparter explains the Olive Green tanning process: 

We are proud to offer two lines of Olive Green Leather Madrid and Pamplona 

Madrid is a magnificent leather.  Its rich colors showcase the natural character of the hide.  While starting out quite waxy, this leather will soften and patina into a less shiny, simply exquisite result. Click here to see swatches and more examples of this incredible leather upholstered. 

Pamplona stands out for its luxurious hand feel, soft matte wax finish and dramatic pull-up. We have two colors: Cognac and Marigold. The little Chelsea Chesterfield below is in Pamplona Marigold – the dramatic pull-up adds to the dimension and depth of the hand-tufting. The soft hand of the hide has our designers reconsidering their favorite leathers. 

Sustainable Leather Pamplona
A Chelsea Chesterfield loveseat in Pamplona "Marigold" leather with wet green® technology.

Sustainability was such a small part of the leather story. Now with Olive Green Leathers, it’s front and center. Our designers are ready to help you make sustainable leather part of your furniture’s story.

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Cornelius Showroom
North Carolina

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Charlotte, our Cornelius showroom is worth the drive. Come see our latest collections in a beautifully restored cotton mill. Look through hundreds of leathers and fabrics and work with our dedicated team to get the details “just right”.

Exterior of COCOCO Home Charlotte

19725 Oak Street
Suite 5
Cornelius, NC 28031
+1 (704) 892-6680
[email protected]

Our Cornelius location will be closed July 4th

For appointments during off hours please contact
[email protected]
Monday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday By Appointment
Sunday Closed

Charlotte Holiday Hours

Showroom Closed:

November 25th – 26th
December 24th – 27th
December 31st – January 2nd
By Appointment Only:

December 28th – 30th
**Our Cornelius showroom will be closed November 16th