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Leather Pipeline: Product manufacturers to blame for fall in leather demand

The latest edition of our Leather Pipeline market intelligence report explains that the falling demand for leather is the result of product manufacturers trying to improve their profit margins, rather than it being caused by consumers rejecting products made from the material because of anti-leather campaigns.

The report, which can be read in full here, says the use of leather is “not greatly influenced by the aggressive anti-leather campaigns”, although many in the industry appear to believe this is the case. It argues that any consumer of meat or beef is a willing buyer of leather products, providing he or she has a reason to do so.

Instead, it states, lower leather consumption is “the consequence of business decisions” made by manufacturers, who see how easy it is to substitute leather for an alternative material that offers a better profit margin and is easier to manage in the production chain. 

“The price of leather would have to be much lower than the price of alternative materials in order to regain market share based purely on margin decisions,” the report says. 

The Leather Pipeline is also critical of finished product manufacturers for turning their backs on leather even after all the hoops they have made tanners jump through in order to meet their increasingly exacting demands for technical specifications or environmental compliance. It says the reality was that leather manufacturers would never have been able to “catch the carrot hung in front of their nose”. 

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