“A segment that gave life to made in Italy and is a symbol of the latter”. We are talking about the tanning segment, in an article written by Il Sole 24 Ore, which gives a voice to Italian leather and its role within the fashion and luxury chain. “Italy is the number 1 producer of leather in Europe (with 65% of the market share), top exporter in the world and, most importantly, is 1st when it comes to manufacturing and exporting leather for the luxury industry”. A leadership that has precise and strategic green connotations.
A symbol of made in Italy
“For 18 years already – explains UNIC to Il Sole 24 Ore –, we publish our sustainability report, and we continue to improve our performances when it comes to resource usage, recycling and emissions. No other industry has the certification levels that Italy’s tanning segment has, which is itself a circular segment by nature, given that it recovers a byproduct of the livestock industry”. A green symbol, considering that “through agreements and collaborations with non-for-profit organization – continues UNIC -, leather that we manufacture only comes from livestock farms that aren’t tied to deforestation. Consumers have the right to choose a vegan alternative, but “leather” can only come from an animal, as stated by Law 68/2020. Moreover, a study by Coatings has highlighted how the so-called alternative materials often contain very high levels of plastic”.
With regards to the sustainability efforts made by Italy’s tanning segment, Il Sole 24 Ore points out how “75% of the waste created during the manufacturing process is recovered and re-used”. A sustainable mission that underwent an acceleration during the pandemic. A period, confirms UNIC, during which “our entrepreneurs dedicated their efforts to research and one to which they pledge about 4% of their revenue, with the highest ones reaching 10% of revenue”.
Respect of its history
There is an aspect of the responsible approach of Italian tanneries to manufacturing that comes from the segment’s past. Il Sole 24 Ore mentions attentively and describes it as something to be proud. This is one of the main building blocks that created the cultural respect of the segment’s history. “In Pompei – writes the newspaper -, the tannery was the largest manufacturing site of the entire city, with tens of bathtubs.
Already in that period, the production of leather was a widespread and profitable activity. As proven by the side triclinium (luxurious chair) owned by the owner of said tannery”. A site that “will soon reopen its doors, also thanks to financial support by UNIC”.