It took an open letter signed by the main international leather brands to re-establish a simple principle of common sense. Tanning accepts competition, it does not feed on prejudices towards alternative materials. But for this very reason, it does not tolerate that competitors use specious and defamatory arguments to corroborate their positions. “There is enough space on the market for materials of different nature – reads the letter, signed by Cotance, ICT, IULTCS, ICSHLTA and Leather Naturally -. The leather industry has no problems with competition, provided it is correct. This is why it will not remain impassive in the face of those who at the same time appropriate its image, while denigrate its characteristics”.
Tanning accepts competition
The reference, ça va sans dire, is to the many materials, more or less “bio-based”, more or less innovative, which present themselves as an alternative to leather, but this does not mean that they exclude the words leather or skin from their trade name. Those who boast about their sustainability, but in doing so need to throw arrows at tanning. It is a biased and limiting speech. Because “the recent comparative analysis conducted by the FILK Institute has shown that alternatives have lower performance than leather”, while “their sustainability claims are deeply compromised by the extensive use of synthetic materials”.
And then, the letter claims, those who denigrate tanning forget that this, among other things, plays a fundamental circular role. Why? It recovers a waste from animal husbandry, transforming it into a noble product for the fashion and design supply chain. “Are any of the new materials capable of doing the same?”