The popularity of Kobe meat benefits leather products. Which especially attract foreign tourists visiting Japan. Sales of slippers made from Kobe leather are booming. And in 2019, the Kobe Leather Cooperative, which promotes Kobe leather under the brand name “Kobe leather”, was also established under the concept of “using after eating”.
The best-selling slippers
“Purchases by foreigners are increasing due to the upturn in tourism”, Taisuke Nagata, the sixth generation at the head of Nagata Ryosuke Shoten, a design shop, tells Nikkei Asia. Which, however, is doing a brisk business with Kobe leather slippers. Sales of these slippers (priced at around USD 130 per pair) almost doubled last August compared to the previous year. Even in department stores such as Ginza Mitsukoshi in Tokyo, sales of this item more than doubled.
The popularity of Kobe meat
Despite the popularity of Kobe meat, its leather has so far not been used effectively. Mainly because the residual leather from each head of cattle is small and thin. Therefore, it was deemed unsuitable for processing. But now, leather goods manufacturers want to take advantage of the high name recognition of this meat among gourmets around the world.
“Using after eating”
Kobe Leather Cooperative, founded by young entrepreneurs in the city of Kobe in 2019, is also aiming at this goal. It is promoting the Kobe leather brand, with the slogan “using after eating” to emphasise how leather is a by-product of the food industry. The cooperative has already undertaken some initiatives (a school bag called randoseru) and more are planned with a backpack and participation in trade fairs.