Halt deforestation by 2030. Reduce methane emissions by 30%. Curb global warming. Amid commitments and warnings, COP26 summit in Glasgow is moving forward. Of course, not everything is going smoothly. “We have done a lot, but there is still a lot to do,” summed up US President Joe Biden. While uncertainties weigh heavily (e.g. China’s absence), leather is playing a leading role. International tanning organisations have presented the Leather Manifesto. Prince Charles of England grasped its meaning, explaining why natural materials are to be preferred to alternatives.
Prince Charles in Rome
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi invited Prince Charles to speak at the G20 in Rome (the two of them, pictured), as part of a preparatory meeting for COP26. The heir to the British throne took advantage of his stop in Rome to organise an event with the fashion world leaders of his foundation SMI (Sustainable Markets Initiative) at the British embassy. The theme of the meeting was the digital passport for the traceability of fashion products.
“God save the leather”
According to the British press, Prince Charles saw a Mulberry bag and asked CEO Thierry Andretta if it was made of leather. Not only that, he asked him if it came from a particular breed of cattle, and if it came from the UK. Hearing that it was made from regenerative agriculture and had a low carbon footprint, Carlo hoped that “people would know the value” of leather produced ethically according to “circular economy” principles. Certainly better, he said, than plastic or synthetics made from “strange fabrics”.
One of the goals of COP26 was deforestation. And while some, like actor Joaquin Phoenix (known for his vegan orientation), are waving bogeymen against agri-food industry, the industry players are taking responsibility. The giants JBS and Cargill are among the signatories of a document for responsible land consumption.