31 March 2022

ILM and APLF co-hosted a live half-day conference at the World Trade Centre to signal a return to live in-person industry events on March 29 ahead of the APLF Dubai show which is taking place March 30-April 1, reports ILM.



The half-day “Future trends in a post-Covid leather industry” event took place in the Dubai World Trade Centre and featured 60 attendees and a further 30 viewers attending the pre-recorded online version of the conference.

The conference featured seven presentations from leading industry speakers covering a range of hot topics such as traceability, deforestation, lifecycle analysis, leather versus alternative materials for biobased content and consumer and brand/retail attitudes towards leather as a material.

During the conference, Gustavo Defeo, CEO of Italy based ARS Tinctoria, outlined the fossil versus biobased carbon content of a range of finished leather products (shoes and leather goods) with his presentation Radio-carbon as a measure of quantification of the circularity of materials.

During the presentation, he demonstrated using carbon-14 dating that many of the so-called vegan materials containing fibres from mushroom, cactus, apple, pineapple and so on have very high levels of fossil fuel derived carbon from petrochemicals (in the range of 60-80% content) and only 20-40% of biobased carbon from the natural fibres. This was compared with a typical vachetta style leather produced in Tuscany which contained 96% biobased content and there were many other examples to support leather’s high biobased content compared with fully or part-synthetic materials mixed with plant fibres.

“By making leather a truly circular and fully biobased carbon product, we could in the future return the leather to the soil as a fertilizer to aid the growth of plants and create a material which is truly carbon positive,” he explained.

The conference was followed by a drinks reception to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Royal Smit & Zoon, the lead sponsor of the conference alongside event sponsors JBS Couros and the Leather & Hide Council of America.

About APLF

We bring leather, material and fashion businesses together: an opportunity to meet and greet face to face. We bring them from all parts of the world so that they can find fresh partners, discover new customers or suppliers and keep ahead of industry developments.


We organise a number of trade exhibitions which focus on fashion and lifestyle: sectors that are constantly in flux, so visitors and exhibitors alike need to be constantly aware both of the changes around them and those forecast for coming seasons.


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