Interview with the future:
What an AI thinks about leather.
Lorenz Perwanger playing chess with his daughter. The entrepreneur and owner of the South Tyrolean tannery Perwanger likes to try new things and connects the past with the future.
Interview with the future:
What an AI thinks about leather.
Lorenz Perwanger, owner of the traditional South Tyrolean tannery Perwanger, talks about what an artificial intelligence has to say about the future of leather in a computer chat with ChatGPT.
His goal is to find out what an artificial intelligence has to say about the future of leather, the oldest material in the history of mankind - and what a computer intelligence believes can or should be done today for nature conservation and sustainability.
Lorenz Perwanger playing chess with his daughter. The entrepreneur and owner of the South Tyrolean tannery Perwanger likes to try new things and connect the past with the future.
Lorenz Perwanger, owner of the traditional South Tyrolean tannery Perwanger, talks about what an artificial intelligence ChatGPT has to say about the future of leather in a computer chat
His goal is to find out what an artificial intelligence has to say about the future of leather, the oldest material in human history - and what a computer intelligence thinks can or should be done today for conservation and sustainability.
Lorenz Perwanger: Good afternoon. I look forward to our conversation and artificial intelligence’s view of our world and our future. First, I would like to ask that you briefly introduce the OpenAI project and ChatGPT: It’s about artificial intelligence. What is it and where do the answers come from in the following conversation?
ChatGPT in action
Lorenz Perwanger: Leather is an indispensable raw material for the production of high quality hiking boots from the point of view of the tannery Perwanger Leder. Which material would an AI suggest to make hiking boots comfortable, safe and above all sustainable?
ChatGPT: An AI could potentially analyse different materials and manufacturing processes and make suggestions to make hiking boots comfortable, safe and sustainable. An important factor for the sustainability of hiking boots is the choice of material. Leather could be a good choice as it is durable and recyclable. Other materials that could be considered are synthetic fabrics made from sustainable, recyclable sources, or natural materials such as cotton or hemp.
The AI could also make suggestions for making walking shoes that use fewer resources and produce less waste. To do this, it could, for example, suggest the use of environmentally friendly production methods such as pollution reduction or the use of environmentally friendly chemicals.
Another important factor for the comfort and safety of hiking boots is the fit. AI could make suggestions to improve the fit of hiking boots by considering different technologies and materials such as cushioned insoles or breathable mesh fabrics.
Overall, there are many factors that need to be considered to make hiking boots comfortable, safe and sustainable. An AI could be of great help by analysing materials and manufacturing processes and making suggestions to achieve these goals.
Alpine cattle live almost freely in the harsh mountain environment and are therefore particularly robust.
Lorenz Perwanger: There is a discussion, especially among environmentally conscious consumers, about whether leather products are not environmentally friendly, for example, simply because animals have to give their skin for them. Wir als Lederhersteller sagen wie viele Alpenbauern auch, dass es kein nachhaltigeres Material als Leder geben kann, da von uns nur Häute von Tieren aus der Fleisch- und Milchwirtschaft verarbeitet werden. Diese Häute wären ohne die Ledergerbung sogar Abfall und müssten klimaschädlich verbrannt werden. How does an AI evaluate this discussion?
ChatGPT: It is important to consider the sustainability of materials from different perspectives, including environmental, social and economic factors.
However, it is also important to consider the impact of leather production on the environment and animals. Leather production can have an impact on the environment, for example, through the use of chemicals during the tanning process or through the use of energy and water. It is also important to ensure that animals are treated ethically and that leather production does not have a negative impact on wildlife.
In this context, it is important that companies producing leather strive to minimize their impact on the environment and animals and continuously improve their sustainability practices. AI could help support these efforts by analyzing materials and manufacturing processes and making suggestions for improved sustainability. It is important that all stakeholders in this discussion openly and honestly discuss the pros and cons of different materials and manufacturing processes in order to make the best decisions for the environment and animals.
The purity of the water is of particular importance in the tanning process (view over the Lake Lucerne).
Lorenz Perwanger: Above all, water and energy consumption in the tanning process are a particular focus at Perwanger and are constantly checked for potential savings. Wir haben hier bereits viel getan und werden auch weiterhin in eine klimafreundliche Produktion investieren und werden auch gerne KI um Ratschläge bitten. From KI’s point of view, what other advantages could leather offer over mineral oil-based plastics in mountain boot production?
Compared to mineral oil-based plastics, leather is a natural material that is biodegradable. This could be an advantage for the sustainability of hiking boots, as plastics may take longer to decompose and may release harmful chemicals as they break down.
Leather is also durable and can last several decades if properly cared for. This could help reduce the resource burden associated with walking shoes, as fewer shoes would need to be produced to meet demand.
Another advantage of leather could be its breathability. Leather is a natural material that allows air to pass through, which allows moisture to move from the inside to the outside. This can help keep feet dry and comfortable while hiking.
It is important to note that there are also mineral oil-based synthetics that are sustainably produced and may also offer benefits for use in hiking boots. It is important to carefully evaluate the different materials and their impact on sustainability and make the best choice for each specific application. An AI could help perform this evaluation by analysing materials and manufacturing processes and making suggestions for improved sustainability.
Lorenz Perwanger: Is there an illustrative calculation or rule of thumb for how a long product life affects the sustainability of the product?
Chat GPT: There is actually a method called a “Life Cycle Assessment” (LCA) that is used to evaluate the impact of products on the environment throughout their life cycle. A Life Cycle Assessment includes the impacts of a product from raw material extraction through manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal.
Lorenz Perwanger: From the perspective of a living human being, wearing comfort is of course also an important factor when evaluating hiking boots. What would be particularly important characteristics of a good hiking boot from the point of view of an AI?
ChatGPT: From an AI perspective, some important characteristics of a good mountaineering boot would be:
Important features of a good mountaineering boot:
- Fit: a mountaineering boot should fit well and keep the feet secure and comfortable to prevent injury and increase comfort.
- Durability: A mountaineering boot should be robust and durable to last a long time and not need frequent replacement.
- Breathability: A mountaineering boot should be breathable to be able to transport moisture from the inside to the outside and keep the feet dry and comfortable.
- Slip resistance: A mountaineering boot should be slip-resistant to provide good traction on uneven terrain and prevent injuries from falls.
- Sustainability: A mountaineering boot should be made from sustainable materials and minimise resource consumption and waste.
- Protection: A mountaineering boot should offer the feet sufficient protection from weather conditions and sharp objects.
It is important to note that everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to the comfort of hiking boots. Therefore, it is important that hiking boots are adapted to the individual wearer and take into account all important features to maximise comfort. An AI could help to analyse these characteristics and make suggestions for improved hiking boots.
Lorenz Perwanger: Perwang leather is found in the top shoes of leading outdoor manufacturers worldwide and from them we know that very great commitment goes precisely in this direction. AI may also be incorporated into the development process in the future. I as a leather manufacturer would still be interested in how the stay of man in almost untouched nature such as mountain nature with the protection of this nature in harmony to bring?.
ChatGPT: It is important that companies involved in the production of outdoor equipment realise that their products have an impact on the environment.
It is important that companies involved in the manufacture of outdoor equipment realise that their products have an impact on the environment. Some measures that companies can take to ensure the protection of nature are:
Using environmentally friendly materials: this includes using recycled materials and choosing materials that are biodegradable.
Sustainable manufacturing practices: This includes reducing waste and energy consumption in production and promoting working conditions that take into account the protection of the environment.
Partnerships with organisations that work to protect nature: By working with such organisations, companies can use their influence to bring about positive change.
Another option is the concept of Leave No Trace, which states that humans leave no trace in nature and leave it as they found it. This can be achieved by avoiding rubbish, following trail rules and respecting rules to protect plants and animals.
There are some measures people can take to ensure the protection of nature in almost untouched areas like the mountains:
Consideration for the environment: this involves following existing rules and regulations and respecting nature as you find it.
Avoidance of harm: This includes not deviating from well-trodden paths and making sure that no rubbish is left behind.
Approval of the local community: It is important to realise that the local community is affected by how you behave in nature and to act accordingly.
Supporting the local community: By supporting local businesses and organisations, you can help to strengthen the local economy and improve the quality of life for people in the area.
There are many more ways in which one can balance the protection of nature. It is important to realise that you have a responsibility and that your choices have an impact on nature.
Lorenz Perwanger: What criteria would an artificial intelligence use or suggest for manufacturing hiking boots to minimize environmental impact.
ChatGPT: An artificial intelligence involved in the manufacture of hiking boots could use or suggest various criteria to minimize environmental impact. For example, an important criterion would be the use of environmentally friendly materials, such as organic cotton instead of conventionally grown cotton, or leather made with vegetable tanning processes.
Another criterion could be the use of recycled materials, such as recycling old hiking boots or other leather products to make new shoes. The use of biodegradable adhesives and other environmentally friendly production technologies could also be considered.
Artificial intelligence could also consider the energy efficiency of manufacturing processes and suggest using more environmentally friendly energy sources such as solar or wind power. Finally, artificial intelligence could also recommend introducing measures to protect workers and the communities where the shoes are made to minimize the impact of production on people and the environment.
Lorenz Perwanger at the headquarters of the family tannery in South Tyrol. This is where Perwanger Nepal, the first special leather for mountain boots, was invented.