The sustainable truth of the tanning industry. Interview with Antonio De Michele, President of DEAN SpA
- DEAN is a historic tanning industry but also a young company.
I can say that we are the historical memory of the Neapolitan tannery, my grandfather Antonio founded the company in 1972 after having gained thirty years of experience in the sector. In November 2022 we celebrated 50 years of activity, a milestone that few Italian companies reach. In fact, however, we have always kept pace with the structural changes in the sector, thanks to an antifragile mentality capable of seizing opportunities for evolution. We are now in the third generation, with a very young staff that has given further impetus to production in key roles.
- Do you focus on technological innovation?
Doing research is fundamental, we strongly believe in constant experimentation, already in the 90s my father Michele De Michele, then President, introduced cutting-edge technologies into the processes that allowed us to be competitive. But he also understood, with foresight, the value of services tailored to the different needs of customers and the importance of preserving artisan knowledge, which yesterday as today makes the difference. We believe in artisan dedication to achieving the final result.
- How important is the issue of sustainability for DEAN?
For DEAN, sustainability is not a mere objective or a market need, but a planning attitude. Since the forced pause linked to Covid, we have implemented new technologies to reduce water and energy consumption, creating a photovoltaic system for over 300kw, we have significantly reduced the environmental impacts of production (emissions and waste), the use of plastic and the consumption of chemicals. In recent months the new latest generation purification plant is being completed.
- Future projects?
We want to contribute to the construction of a new narrative for the sector, underlining the crucial role of the tanning art towards a circular economy. To promote this vision in 2021 we inaugurated the new DEAN HUB in Santa Croce sull'Arno, a hub dedicated to the Research and Development area with new lines. We must proudly spread the truth of tanning: the recovery and valorization of food waste, through the sustainable production of lasting beauty.