The Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT) at the University of Northampton hosted its fifth annual Industry Engagement Day event on November 10.
Students from the University of Northampton, as well as a large contingent from the London School of Fashion, spent the morning listening to talks from tanners, leather chemicals suppliers and finished product companies, before taking part in a discussion about the benefits of leather compared to synthetic materials and participating in a tour of the ICLT’s on-site tannery.
World Leather editor, Stephen Tierney, moderated the interactive discussion at the end of the session on the competition between leather and synthetic alternatives.
ICLT director, Rachel Garwood, said at the end of the event that it had been the most successful so far. She said: “The idea is for representatives of the industry to engage with students who have an interest in working in the leather sector, and vice-versa. We want young people to come into the leather industry and we have managed almost to fill a lecture hall here with Northampton and London College of Fashion students. I think that’s a great tribute to leather.”
Many of the companies taking part gave the audience details of positions they are actively seeking to fill and stands at an exhibition area just outside the lecture theatre were busy afterwards.
Participating companies were: ATC, Church’s Footwear, Aston Martin, Eagle Ottawa, the UK Leather Federation, ECCO Leather, Pittards, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Scottish Leather Group, Smit & Zoon, Fairfax Saddles and Stahl Chemicals. The two automotive brands brought cars to display at the event, a Rolls-Royce Ghost and an Aston Martin Rapide.