12 December 2023
Image credit: European Union/Brigitte Hase
Policy-makers and politicians in the European Union reached a provisional agreement on a revised eco-design framework for sustainable products on December 4, writes Leatherbiz.
Legislation for the framework still requires approval, but an Italian member of the European Parliament, Alessandra Moretti (pictured), said the new agreement spelled the end of “the ‘take, make, dispose’ model” for consumer products.
The European Commission has said it intends to prioritise a number of product groups in a first phase. Footwear and furniture are among the products included in this first group.
Leather industry commentators have raised concerns about a lack of due consideration in earlier stages of this discussion for the durability, repairability and circularity of leather. For example, there were suggestions that staying intact for 100 wears would be enough for a pair of shoes, made from any material, to be presented as long-lasting.
As a concession, manufacturers of leather shoes were to be allowed to claim that their products would last for 145 wears. This caused consternation because leather shoes can often last for years and their longevity is an important factor in convincing consumers that it is worth paying extra for leather.
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