To travel in the northern countryside is to travel mile after mile, hour after hour through dense forest and barren wilderness. Here and there you are met by quiet villages with houses that now sadly echo empty. But then you arrive to Sattajärvi.
Here things are a little different. As the forest thins and the village in front of you spreads out on both sides of the road you realize that this small village truly is different. New houses stand together with old traditional northern farmhouses. The village is bubbling with activity and you see lights in every window as you continue along the road. This small village is developing, changing and evolving because confidence is high. Despite the colourful history of the tannery and shoemakers, the company has never stopped running nor has it ever stopped producing beak shoes, slippers, bags or backpacks – in naturally tanned reindeer leather.
A GENUINE TRADITION
The KERO company has a long and solid history. Yrjö Kero founded the company in 1929 together with Karl Wälivaara and made it his life’s mission to create the thriving company that developed into the still-thriving company culture in the small village of Sattajärvi, 20 kilometres south of Pajala in Sweden Lapland’s far north.
Today the third generation of the Kero family is running the company and the fourth is already involved in the production process. Much has happened since Yrjö Kero started his small tannery in 1929.
VEGETABLE-TANNED REINDEER SKIN
Reindeer skin from Kero is vegetable-tanned, with tanning agents from trees with high tannin content. The reindeer skin is about 1 m² (11 square feet) in size, and has a thickness of 0.5mm – 1.0 mm. excellent for accessories and ready-to-wear clothing. A part of Lapland culture and tradition The reindeer skin is bought in the Nordic countries from Sámi communities that have practised reindeer herding for several centuries. So the reindeer skin is locally produced and bears a certificate of origin that it is a Nordic animal. The process of tanning skin into finished leather takes roughly 2 weeks.
If you’re heading for Tornedalen in northern Sweden, make sure you plan a stop at Sattajärvi, which is, to be precise, 20 kilometres south of Pajala. We’re happy to take guided group tours of the tannery and shoemakers if you book in advance.
Sometimes it may be tricky as a consumer to know if you consume sustainable or not. In that case it could be beneficial with a sustainable marking. On this page you can read how we work with sustainability.
The longer we live the more opportunities we get to collect knowledge and experience. We have tanned leather and sewn and sold leather products in 90 years. We know our cause. By so well mistakes and progress over the years we have learned how we create quality. Sustainable quality for us are products that hold year in and year out. A couple beak shoes or a vintage bag is never considered to be the season’s throwaway, it’s a friend for life.
We tan our leather in a natural way, which means that the skin is handled with substances from the nature. It is the most environment-friendly tanning method. In addition to reduced environmental impact, it also gives a user-friendly leather that allows the skin to breathe.