Despite what are arguably more pressing problems that the world is facing right now due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the attacks on leather and the wider industry are not letting up, with certain lobby and interest groups continuing their slander of our sector, processes and products.
The latest ‘victim’ are producers of extracts for veg tanned leather, with a badly researched and misleading press release being circulated among international media outlets that claims that “veg-tanned leather could cause devastating environmental effects and lead to future pandemics” and that it is “not safer or as eco-friendly” as implied (read more about it here). Naturally, there has been collective anger and frustration from the industry over this article, which is perpetuating the negative image of all leather, not just the veg-tanned variety.
While it is imperative that we call out these false claims, inaccuracies and lies and challenge the damaging narrative, I feel it is even more important to enter into a constructive dialogue with media to arm journalists with the resources that will enable them to differentiate propaganda from truth and report in a balanced way.
We advocate transparency throughout our processes and supply chains, and we must offer the same transparency when it comes to communicating about our industry and how it operates, even the uncomfortable issues that the sector is working so hard to tackle. We must not forget that for people outside of our industry leather making seems complex and intangible, opaque even, and the more open we are in our external communications, the better.
To read the rest of this article by ILM Editor Isabella Griffiths, click on ILM