“Quality is a topical issue that concerns the whole industry. We are working on it to find a suitable solution. In cooperation with Cotance, the European confederation of national tanning associations, we are currently developing a project, based in Spain, to tackle the quality deteriorating of sheep leather”. Gianni Russo, President of Russo di Casandrino and UNIC – Italian Tanneries, spotlighted the problem while talking at 2018 UNIC general meeting. Together with the five vice-presidents of the association, he gave a clear response to such issue, about the concerning quality of raw material, put forth by Hermés. Actually, Italian leather tanning industry has been fully aware of the situation, even before the great fuss about it. The matter is getting more urgent now though, since luxury brands keep focusing on it. The thing is that high-end manufacturing and supplying is a top client, who “is growing more and more, therefore urging tanneries to keep up with it”, points out Alessandro Iliprandi, from Bonaudo tannery. Regarding the identity and value of the “leather material”, Piero Rosati, Conceria Incas, observes: “The main characteristic of the leather, its naturalness, should not be lost. A leather is beautiful in itself, even with its defects, like a woman who does not need to wear makeup”. Talking about chemicals, Graziano Balducci, from Antiba tannery, who’s been appointed as new President of Stazione Sperimentale-SSIP (the Italian Leather Research Institute), restated their commitment to research, innovation and sustainability “starting from the new offices, with new laboratories, located in Pozzuoli, at former Olivetti’s site, alongside the engagement of former Minister Luigi Nicolais”. Italian leather tanning industry is ready to kick off again, next year, thanks to some steady assets. “One of them is the districts’ quality – points out in example given Rino Mastrotto, from Rino Mastrotto tanning group -, which enabled our country, in contrast to others, to preserve the manufacturing production”. One more strong point is our dealing with international markets: “They are of paramount importance to us – emphasizes Valter Peretti, from Peretti group -. We may discuss the way to change the European Union, but we can’t figure we are going to leave it, otherwise getting back to customs duties between countries”.