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Put on your dancing shoes
Mike Redwood | 15 March 2018

Odd times for the leather industry; an odd look to the leather halls.  Another busy day but with the levels of activity varying from area to area. Sometimes corridors like the long rows of Pakistan stands were full. Indeed, it has become recognised that for exporting from the subcontinent you need a stand at APLF. Other fairs are wrong with their timing, or just too domestic to be the right platform. 

The open format of the Japanese stands also generated crowds, but with more designers walking the corridors today quite how that will translate into business, or how quickly, is not clear. Yet tanners do enjoy talking with designers, as it creates a marketing opportunity. 

Evidence accumulates of the difficulty leather is having recovering market share.  The shape of the battle ground becomes even clearer, as Leather Naturally met to talk about messaging, target audiences and platforms. Why is the under thirty Chinese woman so different from the over fifty American man? 

As we danced across the odd spaces – have reptiles slipped out of favour – we hear the stories. 100% of the mimosa tree is used, for timber, wood chips, paper and tanning products. We were told the only element not commercialised is the noise when it falls to the ground. 

And will all hides get used in the future, and if so what for? What really is the role of sausage casings, and cosmetics in the use of hides and skins? The fairs like APLF are the moments for thinking deeply about the long term. No time better than the second day of the top international fair.