21 April 2023
The winners of the Best of APLF Awards (BOAA) 2023 were announced during BOAA & Design-A-Bag Awards cocktail party on the second day of the three-day event.
In 2004, the first BOAA was held to mark the 20th anniversary of APLF fair. The organizers wanted to raise the bar for all exhibitors by creating an awards program that would encourage the pursuit of excellence in design and quality.
The Judging Panel
The tough job of selecting the 6 finalists was undertaken by Olivier Guillemin, Head of Judging Panel, President – Comite Francais de la Couleur, Partner – [o,o], France, Divina Amistoso, Consultant, APLF Ltd Hong Kong; and Olivier Vedrine, Architect/ Designer, Partner – [o,o], France.
There was a total of 6 categories that the exhibitors were competing at. These included: Best Leather Craft, Best Sustainable Leather, Best Tanning Process Innovation, Best Innovation in Leather Finishing, Best Fashion Leather Collection and Best Classic Leather Collection.
Best Leather Craft
SiC Cat (Guangzhou) Technology Co Ltd
Judges’ decision: The award is for Siccat’s artful introduction of handcraft work on their sheep leathers, using hand-painting and fiber pulling techniques to create unique and one-of-a kind leathers.
Winner Quote: “I think hand-made suede leather made by our artists won the judges’ hearts. Each piece is a unique piece of art created by professional artisans, who have been working with us for over four years now, and that’s why we don’t have any catalogues for it. It takes them between 24-48 hours to create one piece of craft. Now that we have won this award at APLF, we will continue to work harder and devote more effort to bring innovative and unique pieces to the market,” Amber Zhang, Partner, SiC Cat
Best Sustainable Leather
Scottish Leather Group
Judges’ decision: The Scottish Leather Group produces what is recognized as the most carbon-free leathers in the world. The group’s responsible UK sourcing, 100% traceability and circular manufacturing process contribute to an independently verified Life Cycle Analysis or LCA score of 8kg. CO2e/m2 on average, the lowest published in the word for leather.
APLF congratulates the SLG and its component companies, Bridge of Weir and Muirhead, for their development of low carbon and lightweight leathers for aviation, automotive and public transport.
Winner Quote: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award at a global platform. The sustainable part of our journey has been a journey of many years now, since 2003, which has seen the evolution a thermal energy plant allowing us to process the waste which we produce onsite, generating the energy which we require for our process,” Gareth Scott, Head Procurement and By Product Sales Director for Scottish Leather Group
Best Tanning Process Innovation
Judges’ decision: KLF Technokimica has refined a metal-free tanning process able to realise white leathers with a shrinkage temperature of about 80 degrees Celsius, without using tanning metal salts. Their finished leathers have an excellent softness and full and bright dying tone that results in brighter, super saturated colors that cannot be achieved with chrome-tanned leathers.
Best Innovation in Leather Finishing
Judges’ decision: The BOAA is given to Uyguner for their wonderful bovine leather collection featuring their innovative micro-cutting technique that creates a uniquely rich texture and a lustrous surface sheen.
Winner Quote: “Finishing is very important because this is where you create 50 per cent of the value addition. The finish has to be just right; based on the kind of leather you’re working with and what it deserves. The award comes at a time that is just apt, as we at Uyguner invest a lot in innovative ideas, technology and heavy machinery to achieve the desired results as the leading manufacturers of leather in Turkiye,” Batuhan Akdeniz, Export Sales Engineer, Uyguner Deri
Best Fashion Leather Collection
Judges’ decision: Teampiel is no stranger to BOAA, since it always present wonderful collections, year in and year out. In Dubai 2023, we are treated to a cohesive, beautiful and high-quality collection that offers a joyful palette of yellows and creams, with an extensive yet comprehensive range of textures and motifs, ideal for various fashion applications.
Winner Quote: “As a company established since 1999, we have always tried to continuously develop and research new material, colors and finishings and thus have been able to establish close working relations with a lot of global designers. I believe, moving ahead in a collaborative spirit has been the key to our success, season by season. Sharing ideas, information and exchange of innovative creative input, results in developing the best product. I truly believe, the BOAA is a prize of our hard work and in retrospect I think, most of our competitors do not put in as much of an effort in research and will, as we do. They simply don’t dare,” Fabio Baldereschi, CEO, Teampiel
Best Classic Leather Collection
Judges’ decision: Wollsdorf’s success is built on manufacturing premium leather products for more than 80 years. Their leather collection is specially characterized by quality that you can feel. Its comprehensive product range fulfills customer demands and offers sustainable and classic, natural leather for the automotive, furniture and aviation industries.
Winner Quote: “It’s an absolute honor and recognition for what we’ve achieved in bringing quality product. Our team has worked extremely hard to give us these environmentally-friendly leather that are Chrome free CO2 neutral with a great sustainability story. We’ve always been at the forefront of technological advances but the biggest thing is our stewardship. We have our own waste water treatment, and in fact, we put the water back in the river cleaner than what we took it. And we can document it when most other tanneries can’t. We also use 93 per cent of the hide and only 7 per cent of it is either returned to the landfill or incinerated. Basically, we up cycle a by-product of the meat industry and turn it into a luxury good,” Eric (Rick) Colford, President at Wollsdorf Leather LTD