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Textile Exchange pilots Leather Impact Accelerator

The Textile Exchange has published its latest Preferred Fibre & Materials Market Report which it says includes good news but is also a “sobering reality of how far we have to go”.

Leather is included in the report and until recently, leather processing has been the main focus, but there is a growing interest in animal welfare, deforestation, land use and climate change, it says. 

In 2017, Textile Exchange ‘pulled together’ 400 stakeholders as the basis of its Responsible Leather Round Table. An International Working Group was then formed that has led the development of the Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA), a programme that enables members of the leather value chain to work towards shared expectations in a coordinated way, it says.

In April this year, the LIA 1.0 draft documents and webpages were launched. In its first version, LIA focuses on deforestation/conversion-free farming, animal welfare, the social and environmental impacts of leather production and traceability. 

The first LIA pilots are rolling out this summer. By October, an internal review of the draft documents will take place with a view of officially launching the LIA by November.

Interested parties can find out more on the Textile Exchange website.

Discussing the wider use of textiles in the apparel industry, Liesl Truscott, director of European and materials strategy at the Textile Exchange, said: “This year’s Preferred Fibre & Materials Market Report includes good news, with growth in a number of preferred materials and innovation in abundance. 

"Alongside the good, is the sobering reality of how far we have to go. Production has increased from an estimated 107 million metric tons of materials in 2018 to an estimated 111 million metric tons in 2019, with less than 20% of that holding any sort of sustainability credential.”

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