Only the tip of the iceberg? Plastics in our oceans.

Main Reaction - The TFL Blog | June 2019

It's a matter of survival

A couple of years ago the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the World Economic Forum informed that by 2050 plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish and that only 14% of plastic packaging, the biggest source of plastic pollution in the oceans, is recycled.

Additionally, the current population of 7.8 billion people is forecasted to increase to 9.8 billion by 2050. Thus, it’s no coincidence that the major discussion topic in the leather industry is how to become “greener and sustainable”. By the way, many of us see it as a fancy or fashionable word but this is not a joke, it’s matter of survival!

Over the last decades, the fast fashion retail business has pushed the leather industry in the same direction, namely, to produce inexpensive materials which have a short lifespan and are often manufactured under questionable working conditions and standards, by far not the norm in the leather industry. The consequence of this has been the undermining of the true qualities of leather: natural origin, durability, biodegradability. It is a premium product has been forced downmarket. And for the leather industry this has resulted in a seemingly irreversible damage.

But the winds are changing. People are horrified by the impact of plastic on the environment. It is time for the leather industry to seize this enormous growth opportunity by thinking about how to make all stages of the leather goods lifecycle sustainable and green.

"After all, our product is an “organic material” with an outstanding long-lasting life. In fact, good quality leather improves with age."

Our industry must do its “homework” and become more sustainable in order to prevail against other materials if we don’t want to lose the position of the oldest and best natural material humans have ever invented.

Rodolfo, Germany

Automotive leather specialist at TFL
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