10 January 2023

Mike Redwood looks further on than 2023 and asks what resolutions the leather industry can make going into the new year. Published by ILM.



A couple of days before Christmas, I sat in a coffee shop in Street, Somerset, in the modern retail site where the footwear brand Clarks started in 1825. What should have been a short pre-Christmas conversation with an industry colleague (not a Clarks’ employee) saw minutes turn into hours as we casually swapped thoughts on the big environmental issues that the industry faces.

The fervour of our discussion highlighted some questions for which answers are needed, and which boardrooms need to have on their urgent agenda. To replace New Year Resolutions, here are a few looking forward to 2030:

  • Will we still be tanning with chromium?
  • What will tanneries be using as their primary source of energy?
  • Will tannery water usage be reduced by a further 30%?
  • Will tanneries achieve zero to landfill?
  • What systems will be in place to ensure circularity is maintained at the end-of-life of articles made with leather?

Why 2030? Whatever your opinions on climate change and biodiversity loss, and I know from my post box these are diverse and strongly held, there is no doubt that change is ongoing, and it is for the worse.

To read the rest of this article, click on Redwood Comment.

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