SYN-BIOS SPA: competitiveness and innovation




With the launch of the METAL-FREE® series in 2020, a new chapter has opened for the Vicenza-based company, which has always been at the forefront of tanning chemistry and product and process sustainability. We talked about it with Enrico Gastaldello, who leads the group together with his father Daniele, founder of Syn-Bios in 1988.


What prompted you to create the METAL-FREE® series?  Customer demands or in general the environmentally friendly philosophy of SYN-BIOS SPA?


A mix of both factors. The new range of microdispersed pigments in an aqueous system is definitely a worthy and concrete continuation of our production that has always been oriented toward sustainability. However, the demands of our customer base have also played their part in rapidly pointing us in this direction. The most important brands at the top of the range are developing product lines that increasingly require metal-free leathers: hence the need, on the part of our customers themselves, to use pigments that lead to the production of an article with such characteristics. Heavy metal-free tanning has a low environmental impact, possesses high biodegradability properties, and is suitable for creating a finished product for people allergic to chromium and other metals. Our METAL-FREE® series, in addition to complying with all the limits of ZDHC's MRSL v.2.0 (Manufacturing Restricted Substances List), is structured in such a way as to allow all tinctures to be used, alone or in combination, without exceeding in the finished article the concentration of 0.1 percent of the sum of the tanning metals, calculated on the total dry weight of the leather. 


The METAL-FREE® series was launched almost two years ago, what has been the market response? 


I am pleased to see that the product has been - and is still being - very successful. It has been highly appreciated that the shades in the METAL-FREE® series are able to cover the entire color gamut, while ensuring maximum yield and a high degree of coverage. In addition, the series guarantees the best chemical and physical fastnesses for leather goods, footwear, apparel, furniture and automotive, with, of course, all the different characteristics that products for these segments have. Our foresight in having long invested in the research of this type of pigment has enabled us to be ready when the demand has become massive. Among other things, a good portion of orders come from abroad and by word of mouth among tanneries, a fact that makes me very proud. I also confide to you that, of our color palette, the absolute protagonist and best-selling shade is optical white, which is in great demand by big international brands.


Is there anything new in sight for the company in the second half of 2022? 


We are always expanding, our highly prepared team really never stops. The Research & Development division is made up of technicians with established experience and high competence, constantly engaged in the search for solutions that can meet-and often even anticipate-the specific needs of customers. Certainly the company will continue to invest under the banner of the metal-free concept. In addition, we recently launched the series of IR reflective pigments dedicated to the automotive sector called NIR ("Near Infra Red") Technology, which is currently our flagship product. Already certified at ZDHC Level 3, the colors, with high yield and coverage, have been selected and designed in order to ensure maximum resistance to tests for light fastness, migration on PVC and heat stability, as is essential in the manufacture of automotive items.


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