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REALTRUE transform the skins of the pirarucu fish, a food by-product of the Amazon River basin, into sustainable Italian-made luxury bags.

One of the largest freshwater fish in the world, the pirarucu is a staple food of the region’s indigenous groups. It was on the brink of extinction due to unregulated overfishing for profit by outsiders; however, its population has rebounded recently thanks to controlled fishing.

For years, the pirarucu’s inedible skins were thrown back into the river or burned, but our tannery was the first to transform this waste into high quality leather. Their proprietary tanning and dyeing process requires 100 days to get to a soft, supple and durable finished skin. This method also recycles water and does not utilise harmful chromium salts. Each bag is then manufactured in a high-end Italian atelier that produces for some of the most renown European luxury houses.

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When you buy a REALTRUE product, you can be sure that we have done everything in our power to make every piece ASAP (as sustainable as possible). This is how your purchase makes a difference. So here’s to shopping with a clean conscience!

Social Impact

  • At each level of our supply chain, all workers are paid a fair wage and work in humane conditions.
  • We support rural and indigenous populations in Brazil. In the Amazon, this means that fisherman have increased their profits from the sale of pirarucu fish, which they previously sold for the meat alone. At our tannery, we create seasonal jobs that provide those in rural communities with additional income.
  • We never use any substances in our leather production that could harm human or animal life.
  • We only use high quality boxes made from recycled paper and environmentally-sound dyes.

Environmental Impact

  • All of our tanneries use 100% natural vegetable tanning methods. This means that there are no environmentally harmful chemicals (i.e. chromium salts) used in any of the dyeing processes.
  • The purchase of each fish skin directly contributes to the continued protection of the pirarucu fish population in the Mamirauá Reserve. Fishermen on the Reserve are provided with conservation training and incentivised to protect the species from illegal poaching as it is a key source of their livelihood.
  • Our Brazilian tannery purchases fish skins at above the market rate to ensure that local fisherman do not need to supplement their income through logging or ranching activities in the rainforest.
  • We only use excess fabric from high-end textile manufacturers for linings and dust bags. Our dust bag cords are even made from recycled polyester.
  • We only use high quality boxes made from recycled paper and environmentally-sound dyes.
  • As the pirarucu are, first and foremost, a food source, no fish is ever killed purely for its skin. Until relatively recently, their skins were discarded or burned, so using them reduces the biological waste in the local ecosystem.a
  • As a source of leather, the carbon footprint of fish is much less than that of farmed mammals and reptiles—and of course, plastic-based ‘vegan’ leather options.

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