24 Oct 2022
Representatives from across Italy’s leather value chain gathered in Florence on October 19 to celebrate, for the third time, a ‘State of the Industry’ event.
Senior figures from the major national industry associations, Assopellettieri and UNIC, Franco Gabbrielli and Fulvia Bacchi respectively, were among the main speakers.
Mr Gabbrielli said the large number of delegates that this third ‘State of the Industry’ event had attracted to Florence was an indication of a strong desire among people in the leather industry to build dialogue, to address important issues head on and to grow.
For her part, Ms Bacchi spoke with typical forthrightness about the challenge the leather industry faces from campaigns to impose synthetic materials as substitutes for leather.
She said companies and campaign groups pushing for this were, often, guilty of disinformation, deliberately putting out incorrect messages that had been “thought up round a boardroom table for marketing purposes”.
She pointed to “the deafening clamour” of automotive brands rushing to launch “their sudden conversion to vegan fashion and all of its diktats”. She said this had led them to claim publicly, but without proof, that the vegan materials they have chosen are more sustainable.
She insisted that the arguments these automotive companies have presented so far are “based on the illogical assumption” that they can help animals by refusing to use leather. She pointed out that 99% of the hides and skins UNIC’s member companies use to make leather is a by-product of the meat industry.