Displaying 1 to 5 of 63 blog entries
- 28/10/13 - Fill in this questionnaire if you are eligible
EU Public consultation on the authenticity leather labelling system at EU level
We are pleased to announce the launch of a public consultation on the authenticity leather labelling system at EU level as a part of the impact assessment study on the matter. The survey is available in seven languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish at the following website:
You are warmly invited to respond to the questionnaire and we thank you in advance for your response. In addition, please let us know (if not already done) persons within your organization that we or the consultants (Matrix Insight Ltd) could contact to get more detailed information regarding the impact assessment study on the authenticity leather labeling system.
The deadline is 31 January 2014.
Please, feel free to forward this message to all your contacts that could be potentially interested in this questionnaire.
Sandrine PLANISI LLOBERA p/o Katarzyna KUSKE
European Commission DG ENTREPRISE AND INDUSTRY Unit E3
BREY 11/116 B-1049 Brussels/Belgium +32 2 295 22 25 email@example.com
- 18/09/13 - Paris is back to centre stage
Cuir a Paris brings Paris back centre stage
Cuir a Paris is on for the 25th time this week. I have to admit that there have been so much changes in shows in Paris since I began in the leather industry that I assuming that means twelve and a half years with the show twice a year.
Whichever it is we have reached Wednesday evening and I'm in a bistro in Chatelet-Les-Halles near the Pompidou centre reminiscing over the days when I'd just escaped the civil war in El Salvador and brought my young children here as Barrow Hepburn made moves to take over management of Le Tanneur, the famous French leathergoods business, and Tannerie du Puy and La Tannerie de Bort les Orgues. Sadly as the formation of the French TFR group became very political and Dick Odey more controversial Barrow Hepburn got squeezed out and our time in Paris came to an abrupt end. But we spent many happy times with our baby buggy and child sling around Pompidou and the surrounding area.
Paris today is a different place and the leather industry also. Tanners can still do well but the business has an edge with high raw prices and tight margins. Wasteful expense cannot be entertained and exhibitors are more likely to be living quietly in a low cost airport hotel than fighting the RER to get downtown to the fancy restaurants and nightclubs that marked the seventies and the Porte de Versailles. Even in the 80s when I moved into marketing the fair in Paris was considered such a big PR moment that coming to Paris cost far more than the other twenty fairs I took my company to put together. Commercially it made no sense, but historically and emotionally tanners were wedded to Paris.
Yet as the new show became established, alongside Premier Vision and other really significant events at the Parc des Expositions, it became apparent that there was some vision and inspiration involved. Bringing a select few top tanners to Paris to meet the Paris based fashion houses and brands was just the positioning needed to find a relevant niche in the crowded market place of leather shows. And so it has proven as we can see with Fair moving to a bigger hall, growing in size and reworking its logo and image.
With its outstanding trend area, clever innovation spot and well worked out stand styles the show links well with the development of the industry and its creative side. There are many reasons for designers to visit and why tanners from far and wide like to have an "office in Paris" for a week.
The fair so far has been quite busy, but more important is the satisfaction with the quality of the visitors. Even a Government Minister turned up and took notice of a French industry which is still diverse and yet cohesive, with enough critical mass to make sense.
They call trade fairs editions these days. Well, this edition was well edited.
- 06/09/13 - Sixteen Years of APLF
The All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) has reached a milestone yesterday when it opened at the New International Expo Centre, in Shanghai. Launched in Beijing in 1998 as a business platform for China's leather industry, the exhibition entered its 16th year. The event is not only important for what it celebrates, it is also an opportunity to re-assert ACLE's position as China's largest and leading leather event.
Held simultaneously with CIFF and Moda Shanghai, the three concurrent exhibitions adequately complement each other and are jointly organised by APLF and the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA). The fairs are being held from September 4 to 6 and attracted over 10,000 buyers on the first day (a 16% increase over last year).
16 years and growing... Over the last 16 years the three fairs have developed at a steady pace but growth over last year was particularly significant. They have overall grown by approximately 10 % compared to 2012 both in terms of size and number of exhibitors, sprawling over 8 halls compared to 7 last year.
At a press conference held yesterday, Michael Duck, director of APLF Limited reminded the audience of the importance of the Chinese leather industry both as an importer and a global supplier. He said China was in the process of shifting from being solely a production base to being a fashion and potentially a trend setter. "We are still at an early stage of the process but I believe Chinese designed products will be increasingly accepted by both Chinese and international consumers", he commented. Thanks to growing disposable income and to the emergence of internet shopping, China's domestic market is expanding too, increasing considerably the global demand for leather products.
Echoing Mr Duck, Mr Su Chao Ying, Chairman of China Leather Industry Association, confirmed China's domestic market expansion and said he expected more market regulation in the near future, especially in the area of e-commerce.
Generally speaking, while figures of annual sales revenue, imports, exports and output are rising, growth rate of the industry is stabilising.
The main concern of the industry is the alarming limited supply of raw material resources and the resulting increase in their price.
Hence, many exhibitors showcase new smart solutions to optimise the usage of raw material. The chemical company BASF's Densodrin HP, for instance, enables just that while reducing the environmental footprint of the tanneries.
Thanks to its Antara integrated software system specifically addressed to tanneries, first time ACLE exhibitor, Brazilian SystemHaus, enables tanneries to improve their efficiency, from scheduling to the traceability of the products while Tannery of the Year 2013, PrimeAsia Smart Engineered Leathers are packed with innovative features which are fashion oriented yet, affordable for consumers.
Like every year, the organisers have put together a comprehensive programme of diverse events, including a set of seminars designed to inform and educate all participants. It was kicked off with a presentation of the European REACh standards, by the French group Centre Technique du Cuir (CTC), and was followed by a workshop addressed to designers about the various characteristics and properties of leather and how to use cost effectively.
While Turkey is still by far the most represented country in terms of number of exhibitors, other countries are catching up. This year, the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) and the Indian Leather Garments Association (ILGA) brought a delegation of 28 exporters. Talking on the second day of the exhibition, the association's president, Moti Lal Sethi said the delegation's initial goal of meeting international buyers has been fulfilled. "Our second goal is to become familiar with the Chinese market and to explore business possibilities such as outsourcing", he said. "I am hopeful that the collaboration between the Chinese and the Indian leather industries will gain momentum over the coming year", he added.
Under such good omens, the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) and its sister fairs China International Footwear Fair and Moda Shanghai will take place next year at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, from September 3 to 5, 2014.
- 09/05/13 - Life in the Leather Industry need not be the pits
SLTC 116th Annual Conference
The long age of the SLTC Annual Conference is a measure of the introduction of chromium technology to the leather industry, as that was the moment when tannery owners started to hire chemists to manage their production. Testing pH and astringency by tasting it was no longer adequate as short process times, strong acids and precise timings took over from the traditions of thousands of years of "slow processing".
Given an attendance back up around 80, with a dinner assembly of over 120 the move to Northampton has brought the Annual Conference back to a much better level, along with the bank account. At the AGM it was clear that the Council is back in a growth mode. One noticeable comparison with the Freiberg Leather Days which were the two days before was the continued absence of the brands and car trade. In Germany it is clear that the car industry, seat makers and steering wheel producers see themselves as part of the trade. If the SLTC could start to attract the significant UK car industry, the Northampton footwear and leathergoods cluster, and some of the Brands from Mulberry to Next the SLTC would be transformed for the 21st century.
Atkin Memorial Lecture
Hugh Gilmour (see photo below by CPW ex FB) the Managing Director of the Langs of Paisley and told us that "life in the leather industry need not be the pits". Langs have an interesting history vegetable tanning pig skins for saddlery amongst other things until it changed to chrome tanning under Fred Tanning in 1950. This was about the same time my father changed Muirheads (which was not part of the SLG then) from vegetable tanned upholstery for Detroit to chrome tanned furniture leather for Scandinavia. These were both immense changes, yet both tanneries managed it without too many issues as far as I am aware.
In 1970, said Hugh, the then BLMRA had 200 members and in 1968 UK tanners employed 25,000 people. Today the industry has just 1250 employees in 22 plants. The big difference of the last few years has been the return of optimism. All the UK makers are growing, he said, all innovate and many are hiring designers. The message from the lecture was clear: tanning is now a good career.
Listening to Professor Yuko Nishimura, an anthropologist from Tokyo, who spoke next tanners have generally done well into the UK. While in Japan tanners form a low caste that are not spoken about, or indeed involved in at all, in polite society the UK leather guilds were rich and were hard for the Crown and Government to control. She said she thought the formation of the guilds in the 13th and 14th centuries reflected the development of self governance and was a foundation of democracy. Some 15% of the urban workforce worked in the wider leather industry, 22-25% in Northampton; this was no small sector of UK society.
Professor Nishimura then took us into the tanning technology which was born in Himeji, the main tanning centre in Japan, and demonstrated two leathers for which she and a retired tanner, Yoshinori Kashiwa, had brought samples. One, used to make boxes and masks, and historical protected by heavy coatings of black lacquer was more of a parchment. The other more interestingly was a snow white alum tan leather where the alum was derived from the soaking and washing period while the hides are held in the flow of the river Ichikawa that runs through Himeji. The river is high in concentration of alum from deposits further upstream. It appears this was discovered back around 500-800AD when leather making came from China via Korea. Three rivers were tried but only the Ichikawa was successful.
So two fascinating lectures set off an excellent day where in the afternoon the industry was updated on the current legal niceties of biocides, the latest on oxidative unhairing and enzymes, REACH and some managerial areas. The afternoon star act was without question Peter Laight who passionately tried to persuade the audience towards his updated film based digital coating approach and the advent of synthetic meshes to deal with the "dispersion of flatulence in aircraft seating". Just a perfect pre-dinner topic. Did you know that "odour is worse in 1st class seating today because of the greater use of pigmented leather"?
More fundamentally it cm across that Peter feels that the use of these membranes would allow us to use more layers of the hides, and still create that vital touch and feel that make leather successful with consumers (which comes from the very top few microns).
75% of the leather we produce today is commodity crap
His starting point was quick to bring us into focus: "75% of the leather we produce today is commodity crap"- not helpful when he also thinks that "65% of under 30s do not know where leather comes from" so that our leather product offering has increasingly become out of touch with modern consciousness.
- 07/04/13 - Freiberg Leather Days Talk
From Fashion Net Asia:
At the recent Freiberg - Leather Days, held in Germany on April 25th and 26th, one of the invited speakers was Mike Redwood, Visiting Professor of Leather at the University of Northampton in the UK and one of the founders of the Leather Naturally! Campaign.
Professor Redwood's presentation gives a brief history of leather, changing global demographics, marketing using social media, changing generational attitudes, the explosion of the middle class in China and their attitudes to consumer goods, satisfying customers and societal needs, branding and the importance of the Circular Economy.
The new marketing outlined in this presentation can be summed up as "Transforming lives, inspiring change" which allows the customer to decide and is allied directly to the philosophy of "Leather Naturally!"
This report is taking from Fashion Net Asia . An audio of my 25 minute lecture is to be found: click here