Representatives of Europe’s leather, footwear, textiles and clothing industries issued a joint statement on July 5 to present a series of demands to the European Commission, reports Leatherbiz.
The organisations, including the leather industry’s representative body in the European Union, COTANCE, said their aim was to help ensure “a successful, green and digital transition” of the EU fashion ecosystem.
Their demands include funding to support the transition, campaigns to raise consumer awareness of sustainable products, EU Member States to encourage sustainable production in Europe through green public procurement, initiatives to attract new workers to the sector and improve the skills of current workers, and steps to ensure a level playing field in the global market.
COTANCE secretary general, Gustavo González-Quijano, said: “Leather is the best example of a circular economy product, as it is the result of recycling an unavoidable residue of meat production. In doing so, European tanners create wealth and jobs for an entire value chain.”
He went on to insist that what the Commission has described as a green transition of Europe’s economy is already synonymous with the way the leather industry works and has done for thousands of years. “It’s our DNA,” Mr González-Quijano said.
He added that leather production can and will become even more sustainable, but said this needs to be done hand in hand with regulators and stakeholders.