An interesting panel took place on 22nd July during the Digital Material Show 2020, “Leather Naturally: The Beauty, Versatility & Sustainability of leather”, with the participation of:
- Egbert Dikkers – Global Director Sustainability at Smit & Zoon
- Rodrigo Henriquez – Director of Marketing Communications at LANXESS AG
- Debbie Burton – Director of Marketing at Pittards | Leather Naturally Management Board
Mr. Edbert Dikkers start his introduction with a special thanks to Material Exchange, that permit to present the Leather Naturally project and objective: Leather Naturally is a global non-profit organization with members from all leather value chain this includes leather manufacturers, meatpacker, chemicals companies, machinery companies and national associations.
The initiative wants to react to misleading information that can damage the leather image with correct information to designers, creators and consumers regarding the beauty, quality and versatility of leather. Leather Naturally also promotes the use of sustainable leather.
Mr. Dikkers highlights some misleading information regarding leather, for example, “Vegan leather is more sustainable”, “Chrome is bad”, “Billion of animals are killed to make leather”, “any connection to reality” they said.
Each year 7,3 million tons of leather are produced and the increase of leather demand doesn’t increase the hides and skins production because there is not an economic incentive for meatpackers, on the other hand, lower demand for leather increases the disposal of leather to landfill.
At this point, Ms.Debbie Burton takes the floor and she starts to highlight a characteristic of leather that is more and more important during the Covid-19 emergency: cleaning leather is easier compared to textile and this permit to prevent possible virus spread, also the durability is favorable to leather, “Leather is the most versatile material and can bring emotion to a product” she said.
The panels continue and finish with informations regarding the 4 myths about leather, 4 myths created by disinformed journalists or NGOs that become viral on the internet: some news is totally based on these myths, and by a consequence, the leather image is now darker.
An interesting panel, held by prepared people.
To whom interested in these topics, I suggest following Leather Naturally in a future webinar available and why not in “TheIDea Factory” monthly webinar.