Tjeerd Veenhoven designs value chains, with the resulting product a proof of concept. Starting with the raw material, his studio builds a product that has a stable concept, can be produced ethically and sustainably, and that has a strong social impact both in its original state and at the consumer end of the chain.
PalmLeather is a new material showcased by a pair of slippers. The brittle, dry leaf of the reca betelnut palm is soaked in a biological softening solution, restoring the innate toughness, strength and flexibility of the living leaf. The resulting material is leather-like, and, when sewn, it is an excellent alternative to plastic or leather. The slippers Veenhoven designed can be easily made and are accessible to India’s poorest populations as well as appealing to European consumers. The designer exports the production knowledge to India where the range of PalmLeather products can be expanded for both the local and western market.