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Leather Pipeline: Leather industry must unite to appeal to consumers

The latest edition of our exclusive fortnightly market intelligence report, Leather Pipeline, brings a warning that there is an urgent need for a trigger to restore leather’s popularity as a material.

This is required to break a trend that has seen less leather being used in products wherever possible, it says, which has resulted in there no longer being enough demand for “the vast majority of raw materials”. 

The report argues that the touch and feel of leather no longer makes the material unique as it “can be copied quite successfully”. Instead, there needs to be more emphasis placed on the functionality and durability of leather, as well as on its sustainability. 

“Leather has never successfully reached the consumer and made them choose it as a material,” the report adds, with leather manufacturers instead forced to accept the decisions made by brands and retailers. 

In order to overcome this challenge, the leather industry needs to develop a “common strategy” to appeal directly to consumers in a simple and persuasive way.

The Leather Pipeline report says there needs to be an industry-wide campaign that unites a wide range of industry participants from slaughterhouse to tannery, and is relevant to everyone, from sheepskin to cattle hide producers, from small factories in Africa to mega tanneries in China, and from industrial manufacturers to artisan leather makers. 

“The focus of a large part of the industry on their own interests might have a short-term effect, but it will not impact the industry in general”, it concludes. 

The full report is available here.

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