The Sustainable Leather Forum closed its third edition on September 13 at the Palais Brongniart, with the theme “Towards a new vision for a responsible leather supply chain”. An opportunity to look back at the next challenges facing the leather industry.
The Sustainable Leather Forum, sponsored by the French Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery Bruno Le Maire, in the presence of Olivia Grégoire (Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery, in charge of the Social, Solidarity and Responsible Economy) received many personalities from the sector at the Palais Brongniart.
300 French and international professionals from various sectors attended: fashion, leather, footwear, leather goods, glove-making, sports and luxury goods. The objective? To exchange on the best practices of the French Leather Industry in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
The leather of tomorrow
The Forum’s reflection on the “future world” is related to a competitive, efficient industry, adapted to the production and consumption patterns of today and tomorrow.
Various topics were discussed such as animal welfare, the carbon footprint of the industry, responsible sourcing, alternative materials to leather and transparency towards consumers.
Leather, a sustainable material that has been recycled and used for thousands of years, must meet the new societal expectations of the industry, which is constantly adapting.
Agnès Pannier-Runacher (Minister Delegate for Industry) declared: “Actions linked to sustainable development have been intensified and control of the leather supply chain improved. In addition, a common CSR reference framework provides for the management of environmental impacts at all stages of production, and respect for the welfare of farm animals. In doing so, the sector is responding to a very strong demand from consumers” and welcomed the progress made on the objectives proposed by the Contract of Objectives and Performance (COP), signed in February 2020 with the sector’s Professional Committee (CTC).
Guillaume De Seynes, President of the Strategic Committee for the Fashion and Luxury Goods Industry, spoke about the strategic contract proposed to the Government at the beginning of the year. The new objective is to double the share of “Made in France” in the consumption of clothing, household linen and footwear in 5 years, motivated by the craze for a more sustainable fashion.
A vegan movement on his way
In the last few years, there has been an evolution in food consumption (vegetarianism, veganism, organic food…) and the question of animal welfare has been raised. We are witnessing an upsurge in media coverage of issues related to the welfare of farm animals and slaughter conditions.
The leather industry and the livestock sector remain very attached to animal welfare and have been committed to it for many years.
Jean-Luc Angot (President of the Comité National d’Éthique des Abattoirs) declared “in terms of animal protection, French and European regulations are among the most advanced in the world. Good practices in favor of animal protection in slaughterhouses and the improvement of the efficiency of official controls are constantly being reinforced.”
Carbon footprint and life cycle
Every year in France, 170,000 tons of raw hides are recovered by the leather and skin industries and by the tannery. This is a perfect example of a circular economy because nothing is lost once the animal is slaughtered for food purposes.
The French leather industry has constantly improved its processes and innovated to be more and more responsible: purification and reduction of water consumption, filtration of emissions and air protection, reduction and reuse of waste. Tannery and leather goods companies are subject to French legislation on Installations Classified for the Protection of the Environment (ICPE).
[ #SLFParis2021 – Keynote ]
Michael Meyer rappelle que pour l’instant aucune matière émergente n’a les propriétés du #cuir et aucune n’est à ce jour 100% naturelle car composée en partie de matériaux synthétiques.#RSE #WeAreLeather #vegan #leather #DeveloppementDurable pic.twitter.com/iNUf8VKGCx
— Conseil National du Cuir (@CNC_France) September 13, 2021
To conclude, Frank Boehly, President of the Conseil National du Cuir said: “This third edition of the Sustainable Leather Forum confirms both the success of the event but also the interest of an annual meeting around the issues of Corporate Social Responsibility in the leather sectors (…)”
[#Live] #SLF2021 (@CNC_France) : “Cette 3e édition du #sustainable #leather #forum avec la participation de #GuillaumeDeSeynes (#Hermes) notamment, montre son ouverture à des filières qui vont au-delà de celles du cuir.” Frank Boehly (#CNC) pic.twitter.com/HKoygS47Cn
— LuxusPlus (@luxusplus) September 13, 2021
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Photo à la Une : © Conseil National du Cuir