Workplace safety and minimizing carbon footprint: Green Deal Leather goals

Original content by: Lederpiel

On May 16, the social partners of the European leather industry, the Cotance employers’ association and the IndustriAll-Europe syndicate, held the final conference of the Green Deal Leather project in Brussels (Belgium) after two years of work. The event attracted around a hundred attendees and marked the end of a project in which the national tanning associations of Spain (Acexpiel), Portugal (APIC), France (FFTM), Hungary (MKZS), Italy (UNIC), Germany (VDL) and Austria (FVTBSL).

The main goal of the project was to know with primary data the real situation of the leather industry in aspects so relevant to advancing the circular economy such as safety in the workplace within tanneries and the carbon footprint of leather generated by the tanning activity. In this sense, during the introduction of the conference, Gustavo González-Quijano, general secretary of Cotance, commented on some of the main conclusions of the project’s research. In relation to work accidents, González-Quijano pointed out that these decreased by 16% in two years in the countries participating in the study (Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Hungary and Austria); that is, from 1,317 accidents in 2019 to 1,102 in 2021. It should be noted that 15% of occupational accidents in the European tanning sector occur in itinere (on the way to or from work) and that more than 90% of recorded accidents are classified as «minor» in severity. Regarding the carbon footprint of leather, the results of the studies indicated that the average emissions are 8 kg of CO2 per square meter of bovine leather produced. In this sense, the majority of the carbon footprint is produced by the chemicals used in the tanning process.

You can access the original post HERE

 

 

Fast fashion is out of fashion: how leather is set to become part of the solution

Original content by: Leather Naturally

As the world grapples with how we can reduce our impact on the environment and actively limit the impacts of climate change, we sit at a vital crossroads in our collective history. Leather is well positioned to be a meaningful part of the solution.

The European Commission has launched an anti-fast fashion campaign specifically designed to educate younger consumers about the negative impacts of fast fashion and to promote the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The campaign aims to address issues of over-production associated with fast fashion and to prioritize sustainability and longevity.

The European Union is committed to serious action as part of its 2030 Vision for Textiles the cornerstone of which is sustainable fashion – designed to have a positive impact on people and the planet.

With leather’s inherent properties of durability, reparability and longevity it represents the antithesis of fast fashion. The fact that it utilizes a by-product in order to create a versatile and premium material lends an additional benefit to its key position in the circular economy.

Increasing traceability expectations together with more and more stringent regulations have entirely shifted the modern consumer landscape. Consumers are far more educated than ever before on the provenance of the goods they purchase and the fact that the impacts of their purchasing decisions can be far-reaching.

Within this context, leather takes a by-product that would otherwise need to be disposed of (with its own environmental impacts) and using responsible, traceable and verifiable production processes, offers designers and consumers high quality products that can be repaired, re-cycled and that can last a lifetime.

You can access the original post HERE

Sustainability: is fashion on a turning point or is it (still) at a dead end?

Original content by: Lineapelle Magazine

Restarting from 42%. In other words, from the percentage  that, according to ICPEN (International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network) identifies the current green hypocrisy. That is, the fact that, online, more than 4 green slogans out of 10 “are exaggerated, false or deceitful”. Greenwashing, in one word. The occasion to take it one step further is offered by BoF (Business of Fashion), a reference portal for fashion and luxury. Unfortunately, this step does not take us much further. To the point that one question necessarily comes up: is fashion actually taking a turn, as far as 360 degrees green is concerned, or is it still at a dead end?

Turning point or dead alley?

BoF elaborates periodically a Sustainability Index. According to its latest edition, “while companies are discussing about sustainability more than ever, actions are delayed, compared with public commitments”. Much storytelling (sometimes close to propaganda), few concrete actions. “The total average score of evaluated companies was just 36 on 100, with a considerable difference between commitment and action”, BoF writes.

The relationship with suppliers

In the end, to really reach their green goals, brands need to make their production area cost-effective in a sustainable way. Which is, nevertheless, part of their universe under the “suppliers” item. With them, they should share long-term investments in technology and tools. But, BoF remarks, “suppliers complain about the fact that t18hey are often left alone, when the issue is paying for the investments. Instead of putting each season suppliers one against the other for prices, brands should establish solid partnerships, even if this could mean that the cost of production will get higher”. Luckily, it does not work like this for everyone. But that’s enough to prevent a real, determined, widespread sustainable turn from happening. And much too often, this is an unbalanced burden on the upper part of the production chain.

You can access the original post HERE

Edition full of vitality and content for Lineapelle 103

Original content by: Lineapelle

Despite the complex economic situation, LINEAPELLE 103, held at Fiera Milano Rho from 20 to 22 February 2024, celebrates the conclusion of a particularly vital edition that opens up glimmers of confidence for the leather, luxury, and design supply chain.

Twenty-five thousand three hundred seventy-six sector operators (up on the February and September 2023 editions) animated with their interest and search for novelty the stands of the 1,167 exhibitors at LINEAPELLE who showcased collections and projects (reference season: Spring-Summer 2025) characterised by strong innovative research and a clear propensity for diversification of markets, proposals, and destinations.

The influx of foreign operators was significant (39% of the total), with a prevalence of buyers from France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Turkey, the United States, and China.

The vitality of LINEAPELLE 103 and its ability to open up new horizons even in a particularly worrying market moment, found expression and (great) interest in all the contents that enriched the exhibition experience, starting with the success of the six Lineapelle Designers Edition fashion shows. Very positive feedback also for the first edition of Lineapelle Interiors / Leather Duets, a business culture exhibition that staged a sequence of installations, each of which was represented by an exclusive leather design project shared between a made-in-Italy leather manufacturer and a furniture company. There was also great involvement for In The Making Atto II (an interconnected and multidisciplinary space where visitors to LINEAPELLE were able to take part in a series of craft workshops using leather) and for the second edition of the Science Based Fashion Talks, opportunities for debate and sharing aimed at discovering and defining green strategies for the entire supply chain.

A very profitable edition for Splenda Leather
Splenda Leather attends all editions of Lineapelle in Milan. It is a perfect occasion to perceive new trends in terms of tanning process and leather design.

It is also a great opportunity to strengthen ties with our clients and suppliers. To all of you, thank you very much for visiting us and receiving us. We return home with the firm conviction that, despite the uncertain economic times that many industrial sectors are going through, the health of our industry is strong and we have a good future ahead of us.

You can read the original press release HERE

Alternatives to leather are not always what they seem

Original content by: One4Leather

You have probably heard of the term ‘Vegan Leather’. But what is it really? The name suggests that is derived from plant-based material but is it?

In fact, ‘vegan leather’ isn’t leather at all, nor is it always plant-based. It’s often a material made out polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU) and textile-polymer composite microfibers or other petroleum-based materials. In layman’s terms: plastics. Some newer alternatives are based on plant or fruit fibres, such as apples or pineapples. The traditional leather alternative materials are artificial and have been around for ages as ‘leather alternatives’, but do not possess the same properties as, nor can they be called leather, as the term is strictly defined according to ISO and other European standards as a tanned hide or skin with its original fibrous structure more or less intact.

‘Vegan’ implies ”free-from” any animal products, which makes naming a vegan material ‘leather’ misleading and even contradictory. This should, however, not be confused with ‘vegetable tanned’ leather, which refers to using tannins that originate from plants, such as the tannin in tree bark. Vegetable-tanned leather though is still genuine leather. Leather alternative materials certainly have achieved higher quality over the years, yet they have decidedly different structures and properties to genuine leather.

As an industry, we believe there is a clear difference between authentic leather and alternatives on various fronts, based on material properties. To illustrate the difference, when you do buy leather, you are choosing a material with the following characteristics:

  • Easy to clean (one of the main reasons why aviation and shared mobility are using it);
  • ‘Breathing’ properties (due to natural fiber structure of the skin);
  • Strength and durability (leather keeps its quality, year-in year-out);
  • Flexibility (leather becomes more and more flexible over time, while it still maintains its shape and strength)
  • Compostability, since leather products can be turned into compost in a matter of weeks as only 1% would remain, which is the surface treatment. This surface coating is the last challenge to make leather a 100% biodegradable material that leaves no footprint in our environment after use.

In the end, it is your choice to make: using or buying artificial material or the real deal. We just wanted to let you know what the difference is, as we believe that transparency is key in order to make a self-conscious decision in what you buy and use.

You can read the original post HERE

Leather makers and EU Industries urge immediate action to conclude EU-MERCOSUR Agreement

Original content by: COTANCE

On January 11, 2024, COTANCE joined key EU industries, calling on EU authorities to conclude and ratify the historic EU-Mercosur Agreement.

The deal goes beyond trade and it’s an economic, social, & geopolitical imperative for the EU. In economic terms, it means access to key raw materials for green & digital transition, creation of tens of millions of jobs in Europe, strengthening rural area and access to a market of 270 million consumers.

For Leather, it also means a unique chance to reinforce the partnership with one of the world’s largest supplier of hides, skins and leather for the EU, and an opportunity to support the implementation of the tough EUDR standard entering into application in 1 year.

This is the full letter:

«Your excellency President Metsola, Your excellency President Michel,

Your excellency President von der Leyen,

We are writing to you on behalf of 23 associations representing a wide array of European industries and other businesses based in the EU, ranging from manufacturing to food-related sectors. We call on the EU and Mercosur leaders to rapidly conclude the trade negotiations on the remaining open points. In short, there is no time to lose.

Having the EU-Mercosur agreement in place will boost the integration of our economies and help to diversify our value chains both for imports and exports. This is key for the competitiveness of our export-oriented sectors that create tens of millions of jobs in Europe and provide an essential contribution to the prosperity and standards of living of European citizens. It also helps to promote the EU’s open strategic autonomy in times of rising economic security concerns by partnering with like-minded countries.

The agreement offers Europe a unique and timely chance to seize its first-mover advantage to partner up with one of the world’s largest economies. A deal helps to significantly reduce both high tariff and non-tariff barriers that negatively affect European companies’ chances to compete on Mercosur’s relatively closed market with over 270 million consumers. It is important to recognise the huge opportunities the agreement offers, which will help maintaining a strong industrial structure in the EU, including in rural areas, and thereby to safeguard the jobs and well-being of millions of European citizens. Given that the EU lacks substantial reserves of key raw materials necessary for the green and digital transition and the fact that a substantial proportion of global growth is expected to come from outside of the EU in the next decade, our industries need open export markets to sell European goods and services and procure raw materials at a competitive prices. The agreement is therefore an economic, social, and geopolitical imperative.

Committed to free, fair, and sustainable trade, we understand the need to protect the unique ecosystems of the Mercosur region. We believe that the EU-Mercosur agreement provides a very strong incentive and the right tools for collaboration to maintain the region’s sustainable development pledges, including the halt of illegal deforestation.

We, therefore, call on European leaders to act now and conclude and ratify the EU-Mercosur agreement, without further delay.

Yours faithfully, The Signatories»

You can read the original article HERE

A project demonstrates the better biodegradability of leather compared to other materials

Original content by: Lederpiel

The A3 Leather Innovation Center of the University of Lleida has recently presented the results of a biodegradability project based on compostability. Commissioned by Leather Cluster Barcelona, ​​this initiative consisted of a scientific study to analyze the compostability of leather and other materials. The project concludes with scientific data that leather has a much greater degradation than synthetic and artificial alternatives that simulate hides. Furthermore, those responsible for the work confirm that materials that imitate leather have less resistance and permeability than leather.

The study aims to determine the differences at a physical and chemical level, as well as other thermometric properties, of seven different types of finished leather and three imitations of leather: a material of synthetic origin (commercially, imitation leather) and two alternatives based on raw materials of biological origin (pineapple and cactus) that try to imitate leather in the fashion industry (commercially, called «vegan leather»).

The work includes a complete physical and chemical characterization of the different materials under study, applying standardized methods of the leather sector on an international scale. Also included is a study of accelerated aging of the materials in a climatic chamber and their subsequent characterization, to determine what impact these extreme conditions have caused on the materials under study.

Once the composting process is completed, a leaching study of the different compounds is included with the aim of identifying the substances that the compounds release after experimentation.

Finally, a study of the volatile organic compound content of the ten samples under study is included. The objective is to determine if the different substrates contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of greater or lesser volatility, or of greater or lesser danger to the user.

Conclusions
One of the most relevant conclusions is that during the composting processes, while the different samples of natural leather analyzed present a total or partial degradation in a period of 21 to 35 days depending on the type of leather, the samples of alternative materials do not present any indication of degradation after 90 days of starting the compostability test.

Regarding physical properties, the alternative materials to leather studied show lower resistance and lower permeability, a fact that positions these materials with lower durability and well below the intrinsic qualities and properties of leather and for the uses to which they are intended. which is intended.

«The results of this project provide information and value to estimate with scientific rigor that leather of natural origin has much higher degradation rates than synthetic and artificial alternatives that want to imitate it,» say the scientists at A3 Leather Innovation Center.

Next steps
The biodegradability project will not end with the presentation of the study data, but both Leather Cluster Barcelona and A3 Leather Innovation Center UdL want to scale it up at the Jorba industrial composting facility in Barcelona.

With the scientific arguments derived from this project, Leather Cluster Barcelona wants to claim leather as an example of a circular economy and demand the correct use of the term leather only for those articles of natural origin. The term leather is used in many cases, but not always respecting the nature of its origin. Animal hides, used as a raw material to make consumer products, is a sustainable material with long durability and compostability. The leather tanning and finishing industry, as an agent of the circular economy, values ​​this resource by preventing it from becoming waste.

«Leather imitations, both synthetic materials mostly made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU), as well as new fashion alternatives based on raw materials of organic origin from various industries, but produced with polymers derived from petroleum (the so-called vegan leather), are not biodegradable, recyclable or sustainable and will remain in landfills for centuries,» say those responsible for the project.

You can access the original article HERE

The tanning industry once again demands that the COP recognize the sustainable role of leather

Original content by: Lederpiel

Almost thirty associations related to the tanning sector around the world have signed a manifesto asking the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in 2023 to recognize the positive impact that natural materials such as leather have over people, the environment and the fight against climate change. The text expands on the one sent to the previous COP summit in Egypt in 2022 and highlights the ability of leather to optimize natural resources without causing negative impacts on the environment.

“Leather manufacturing can create employment opportunities and generate wealth and security in disadvantaged regions, both directly and in related industries,” states the Leather Manifesto, signed by leather associations. «Greater use of natural materials would create jobs, reduce waste and could be a direct driver of more sustainable agricultural practices,» the text states.

The new Leather Manifesto also points out that leather is an ideal option for a sustainable future, which encourages reuse and slow fashion. The leather industry hereby demands once again appropriate measures to correctly evaluate the life cycle of a product, taking into account all aspects of the production of any material and the promotion of products that are durable and can be used many times. Sometimes, repaired and renewed, as is the case with leather.

«Leather is the best material for beautiful and durable products that can be used by more than one owner, that can be repaired or renewed, prolonging their useful life, and that biodegrade at the end of their useful life,» says Gustavo González-Quijano, secretary general of the Confederation of National Associations of Tanners of the European Community (Cotance), one of the signatories of the manifesto. On the part of Spain, the Spanish Tanning Association (Acexpiel) and the Leather Cluster Barcelona appear as signatories of the document.

COP28 will be held this year from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

You can download the Leather Manifesto HERE

And so you can access de original article HERE

Inflation continues to boost foreign sales of semi-tanned and tanned hides

Original content by: Lederpiel

During the first seven months of 2023, the value of Spanish exports of semi-tanned and tanned leather continued at record levels due to high inflation in recent months. On the contrary, sales abroad of raw hides fell again by around 20%.

In this way, according to data from the General Directorate of Customs, between January and July of this year, compared to the same period in 2022, exports of raw hides fell by 19.3% (19 million euros less), while that those of semi-tanned leather rose by 19.7% (8.6 million euros more) and those of tanned leather increased by 4.1% (10.4 million euros more).

If we compare the first seven months of 2023 with those of 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of raw hides decreased by 14.8%, while semi-tanned leather increased by 57.4% and those of tanned leather, 16.4%.

Imports
Regarding imports of hides and leather, between January and July 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, foreign purchases of raw hides increased by 9.3% (3.9 million euros more); while the import of semi-tanned leather grew by 2.9% (2.1 million euros more) and those of tanned leather fell by 6.9% (12 million euros less).

Compared to January-July 2019, sales of raw hides grew by 46.2% and semi-tanned leather by 21%, while those of tanned leather fell by 18.4%.

Consequently, the leather trade balance in the first seven months of 2023 showed an imbalance in general terms in favor of exports of 118.4 million euros.

You can read the original press release HERE.

A formidable edition of Lineapelle Fair

Original content by: Lineapelle Fair

The 102 edition of Lineapelle, the most important exhibition dedicated to the global fashion, luxury, and design industry, consolidates its international leadership by positioning itself as an authentic beacon in the context of a complex economic phase characterised by a widespread slowdown and a limited possibility of defining production and commercial programmes.

Lineapelle 102 (dedicated to the Fall-Winter 2024-2025 season) hosted 1,330 exhibitors and welcomed a 25% increase in the number of professional operators compared to the September 2022 edition: +26% Italian visitors, +22% those from abroad, arriving from 109 countries, with a particular dynamism of those from France and China, Japan and South Korea, confirming the reassuring return of Asian buyers to the fair.

«All the exhibition sectors at Lineapelle 102,» commented President Gianni Russo, «showed remarkable vitality. Creativity and the ability to involve and stimulate the various operators were the strong points of a show whose international leadership cannot be questioned and is even stronger after this edition».

Lineapelle 102 reaffirmed the value of the exhibition synergy with Simac Tanning Tech (the international event with the most qualified offer of machinery and technology for the tanning, footwear, and leather goods industries) held concurrently at Fiera Milano Rho. A synergy that involved, in total, over 28,000 visitors.

The next edition of Lineapelle, number 103 (Spring-Summer 2025 season), will take place from 20 to 22 February 2024, again in the Fiera Milano Rho premises.

Splenda Leather in Milan

For Splenda Leather, this new attendance at Lineapelle Fair has meant a new opportunity to consolidate our international activity, expand horizons and perspectives, learn about the new trends in our sector and strengthen our personal and close relationship with our customers and partners. We are already looking forward to the next edition.

You can read the original press release HERE.