Icelandic furrier Eggert Jóhannsson uses skins from lambs that die at birth or shortly afterwards in his new collection “Born Again” in cooperation with the National Association of Sheep Farmers. The skins would otherwise go to waste.
From Jóhannsson’s Born Again collection.
“Icelanders don’t always realize the value of the things they have around them,” Jóhannsson, who presented his new collection yesterday, told Fréttabladid. The collection is the result of three years of experimental work.
“The first step has been taken towards using materials that otherwise had been thrown away,” the furrier said in his presentation. Other partners in the Born Again collection are Helga Björnsson, a fashion designer working in Paris, and the company Lodskinna in Saudárkrókur.
Farmers are paid ISK 1,250 (USD 10, EUR 7) per lamb skin but they have to organize the skinning themselves and bring the skins to a tannery.
Considering that at a large sheep farm, where between 1,300 and 1,400 lambs are born in spring and around 50 die at birth or shortly afterwards, that amount can make a difference since the lambs are usually buried with their skins.
Minister of Agriculture Jón Bjarnason of the Left-Green Movement was present during yesterday’s fashion show. As an old sheep farmer, he said he was very pleased with this initiative to use all of the country’s products. “I’m sure Icelandic farmers will welcome this initiative,” he added.
The minister praised Jóhannsson for his new collection, calling it further proof of the furrier’s skills to create beautiful products from natural materials.
He described it as positive that skins from stillborn lambs that would otherwise have gone to waste are being used and is hopeful that export of the new collection will result in much-needed revenue in foreign currency and help restore the Icelandic economy.
Skins from such young lambs are softer and warmer than conventional lamb skins.