15 December 2023

Comment by Italy’s La Conceria - Think for a minute if they listened to Stella McCartney

Luckily some interviews are nothing more than an exercise. We trust the fact that the latest statements from Stella McCartney will remain in the wind, as the former calls for global duties on the international trade of leather products. Yet, we are always shocked to see public opinion (press, journalists, organizations, etc.) listens to the maître-à-penser of vegan fashion. And we ask ourselves: are we aware of the consequences, if global leaders were to follow the words of Stella McCartney? Report by La Conceria.

Fiscal war

At the edge of COP 28 (event, as we wrote, unbalanced between fossil sources and vegan fashion), CNN interviewed Stella McCartney (in photo from Shutterstock). Encountering little challenge, the stylist performed her usual act and attacked the tanning segment. Given it’s a UN event involving world leaders, McCartney took advantage of the situation and advised a fiscal strategy to “world leaders”: a system of barriers on imports and exports to completely block the commerce of leather products. “Those using toxic substances during the tanning process and favoring deforestation need to be penalized”, she says. We are hoping nobody will follow the advice.

If they listened to Stella McCartney

The stylist confuses the information and makes assumptions to support her claim. With a theory worth of veganism, it pushes the responsibilities of the livestock industry onto the tanning one. The reality, as it’s known, is that the tanning industry collect a waste byproduct of the livestock industry, which, until meat consumption continues to grow, will continue to process as many units as demand supports. They surely don’t follow the demand for leather, as it’s not their core business.

Do you know what would happen to leather if the tanning industry stopped collecting it, as McCartney demands? About 2.18 billion cubed meter of hides would need to be put in landfills: it’s equal to two times the volume of Mount Everest (writes One4Leather after collecting the data). Today only a portion of that is recovered by tanneries. A mountain (literally) of problems, which today the tanning industry is helping covering, but that tomorrow (if McCartney and similar thinkers gain support), would be a weight on society.

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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