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Véronique Saunier established her reputation as a journalist soon after moving to Hong Kong in 1988. As a freelance writer, she has been covering the fashion, leather and fine fibre industries for various magazines including the industry’s leading trend setter WGSN. Her background as a former science and technology writer enables her to interpret in a highly readable manner the way new technologies affect various industries and our lives. She understands and is concerned about the impact the fashion industry has on the livelihood and traditions of animal breeders across the world. A dedicated environmentalist, she tirelessly promotes corporate responsibility and sustainable development as a means of preserving cultural diversity. At the same time she defends the rightful access of local populations to education, healthcare, technological advancements, prosperity and wealth creation. She has played an active part in developing and coordinating the programme of the Cashmere World Forum and of the Global Footwear Retail Conference. A tireless traveler with an extensive experience of living in China, Véronique commutes regularly between Asia and Europe.
The French company Raynaud Jeune was founded by Elisée Raynaud in 1928 in Mazamet, a municipality in the Tarn department of southern France. During the 18th and 19th century it was central to the global wool industry. At its height, the town imported more than 100,000 tonnes of wool annually from the Southern Hemisphere. After processing, numerous establishments were involved in wool-spinning and into the manufacture of leather goods and gloves.
Family run company French Leather was founded in 1984 in Toulouse, France. Under the leadership of its founder and president Roland Atik, it shifted its operations progressively to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where it became one of the major suppliers and traders of tanned skins, including sheep and goat wet blues, of the country.
Established in 1904, Elkem is one of the world's leaders in fully integrated silicone manufacturing with operations throughout the silicone value chain from quartz – from which silicone is obtained -- to downstream silicone specialties. Headquartered in Oslo, the company’s 27 production sites around the world ensure proximity to customers and serve very diverse markets, from energy to cosmetics, from electronics to automotive manufacturing, construction, health and personal care. Extremely versatile, silicones are widely used in people’s daily lives and in countless applications.
With a commercial network spreading over 60 countries around the world and a total turnover of over 140 million euros, the Italian company Silvateam is the world leader in the production, extraction and commercialisation of vegetable extracts, tannins and their derivatives. Today, it is benefitting greatly from the renewed interest in vegetable leather tanning, which had fallen in obsolescence but is now back into favour as it is deemed less harmful and less polluting than chrome tanning. This is a trend cheerfully endorsed by Antonio Battaglia, the company’s Leather Division Director and descendant of the founder.
One of the highlights of the 22nd edition of the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) in Shanghai was the large shared joint booth of the Chinese Henan Prosper and the Spanish company Colomer. The two had been collaborating since 1994, until in 2009 Henan Prosper acquired the finished leather operations of the 100-year old Spanish enterprise and moved their production facilities to China. Today only the trading operations remain in Spain while research and development as well as production all take place in China.
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