Leather and Leather Products Institute

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Leather for Health, Wealth and Luxury

Tannery of the Year 2016: Global winner named

The 2016 Tannery of the Year Awards took place in Hong Kong on March 30. A distinguished panel of five judges chose regional winners for Africa, Asia excluding China, the Americas, China and Europe and, from these, later named the global winner for this, the fifth programme of Tannery of the Year.

Regional winners were: White Nile Tannery from Sudan for Africa, Kings International from India for Asia excluding China, Couro do Norte from Brazil for the Americas, Dazhong Leather for China and Atlantic Leather from Iceland for Europe.

The winner of the Global Tannery of the Year award for 2016 was Couro do Norte.

World Leather congratulates all eight finalists who took part in the ceremony and, especially, Couro do Norte.



Stahl makes leather chemicals acquisition in India

Leather chemicals manufacturer Stahl has acquired the leather chemicals business of Mumbai-based Viswaat Chemicals. The Indian company manufactures specialty chemicals for a broad range of industries through, Stahl said on making the announcement “constant and innovative research and development, backed by a strong social conscience”.

Viswaat will now produce REACH-compliant syntans, fatliquors and beamhouse solutions for the leather industry exclusively for Stahl; the Dutch company said it believes the acquisition will enable it to strengthen its position in leather chemicals in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Stahl chief executive, Huub van Beijeren, said his company would now be able to serve its clients in the region better. He also said the acquisition is directly linked to the company’s commitments to creating a more transparent supply chain and improving its environmental footprint.


PrimeAsia cuts “core articles” lead-times in half

Tanning group PrimeAsia is responding to demands from its customers for shorter lead-times by cutting the amount of time it takes to deliver “relevant core articles” by half.

Calling the initiative its Quick to Market (QTM) platform, PrimeAsia has said it can have articles and colours that feature in its catalogue in its warehouse for shipping 15 days after order confirmation.

Minimum order quantity is just 25 square-feet and no advanced forecast is required. However, if customers want the leather they order to have embossing, perforations or other special treatment, it will take longer.

“PrimeAsia’s QTM platform represents a new way to develop and quickly deliver trend-relevant leathers without sacrificing quality,” the group said on announcing the initiative. Its QTM Athletic Collection 2016 is already available to its sports and outdoor footwear customers and a QTM Casual Collection will follow later this year.

The group has tanneries in China and Vietnam; its China facility won the Global Tannery of the Year Award in 2013, while its tannery in Vietnam won the regional award for Asia excluding China in 2010. It counts Nike, New Balance and Timberland among its biggest customers.


Meet the World’s Largest Luxury Leathergoods Manufacturer

Korean handbag manufacturer Simone claims to be the largest producer of luxury leather goods in the world.

The Seoul-based company is a distributor of luxury leather goods in the Korean market for a number of high-end global brands, but it also makes plenty of products of its own.

Speaking at the 2016 Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Seoul towards the end of April, Simone director Joowon Park claimed that her company makes 20 million handbags per year and that its workforce has a combined total of 3,500 years of experience. It also runs a museum in the South Korean capital dedicated to handbags.

Parent group, Simone Holdings, is reported to be in the process of acquiring automotive leather producer GST AutoLeather.


Italgente Will Give Sweden a Touch of Class at France 2016

Swedish footwear brand Italgente, which offers high-end Italian handmade men’s shoes to discerning consumers in its home country, has won the the right to supply formal footwear to Sweden’s national football team for the 2016 European Championship.

Italgente will supply each member of the Sweden squad with a pair of its Venezia Caffe Oxfords, which the players will wear with suits for formal occasions at the competition. France is hosting the championship, which kicks off on June 9. Sweden’s first match is against the Republic of Ireland in Paris on June 13.

To celebrate the occasion, Italgente ran two special trunk shows in Malmö and Stockholm at the end of May and was able to offer its customers the chance to win tickets for two of Sweden’s warm-up matches. This is the second time the brand has won the right to supply the national team: it also provided formal shoes for the squad at the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

All of Italgente’s shoes are handmade in Montegranaro in Italy’s most famous footwear-making region, Le Marche. The Venezia model uses calf leather, which Italgente sources from either the Tannerie d’Annonay in France or from Ilcea in Italy.


Hermès Uses Facts to Defend Ostrich Leather

Luxury group Hermès has defended its use of ostrich leather following a publicity stunt at its annual general meeting by a campaign group.

At the the event in Paris on May 31, a representative of an animal rights group spoke about a video showing poor treatment of young ostriches on a farm in South Africa and said the facility supplies exclusively to Hermès. She told French media she had bought one share in the luxury group to allow her to attend the meeting and make this intervention.

In response, Hermès chief executive, Axel Dumas, said: “Let’s stick to the facts. We take full responsibility for the partnerships we have in place with the farms from which we source, but Hermès does not have an exclusive provider of ostrich. We want them to apply best practice and we insist that all of our partners respect not just international regulations, but Hermès regulations, which are much stricter.”

The video in question was uploaded to the internet earlier this year. At that time, Hermès issued a statement explaining that the farm that features does not belong to the luxury group. It said it sources its ostrich leather not from farms but from tanneries. Furthermore, it said these tanneries, “like all of our suppliers” are subject to “careful, permanent checks”.


Fashion Transparency Index Launched

Founded three years ago, after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing over 1,100 people on April 24, the Fashion Revolution movement has launched the Fashion Transparency Index in collaboration with Ethical Consumer.

Launched on April 18 to mark the start of Fashion Revolution Week (April 18-24), the first edition includes 40 of the biggest global fashion brands and ranks companies according to the level of transparency in their supply chain. The aim is further transparency, greater consumer and regulatory accountability in the supply chain.

The average score for the 40 brands surveyed by Fashion Revolution is 42% out of 100. Levi Strauss & Co ranks number one with 77%, while luxury brand Chanel holds the last place in the ranking, with 10%, and closely followed by Forever 21, Claire’s Accessories, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Prada. “This sends a strong signal that luxury brands in particular have much more work to do”, said the movement in a statement.

“Lack of transparency costs lives. It is impossible for companies to make sure human rights are respected and that environmental practices are sound without knowing where their products are made, who is making them and under what conditions. When companies are working in a transparent way, this also implies openness, communication and accountability across the supply chain and with the public”, said Carry Somers, Co-Founder, Fashion Revolution.

Over 80 countries now participate in the movement which takes place on April 24 of each year. The #whomademyclothes hashtag has become widely used on various social media platforms.


Leather and footwear industry of Uzbekistan attend "Shoesstar" exhibition


Quality, practicality and price – these were the features of products produced by domestic tanners and shoemakers that drew the attention of participants of the 5th international exhibition "Shoesstar" in the Kazakh city of Almaty.

About 20 companies operating in the structure of the Association «Uzbekcharmpoyabzali» represented Uzbekistan at this event. It is worth noting that our entrepreneurs have prepared for this event thoroughly. The exposition of Uzbekistan presented a wide range of shoes, ranging from strict classical to easy home. At that, a presentation was prepared to acquaint the specialists of the sphere with the production and export potential of leather and footwear enterprises of Uzbekistan.

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Die-cutting systems “no longer able to keep pace”, Lectra claims

Cutting technology provider Lectra has said that leather car-seat and automotive interior producers are ordering “such high volumes from tanners” that traditional die-cutting systems are “no longer able to keep pace”.

In its newly published annual report for 2015, Lectra said it had taken note of the high-end vehicle market witnessing the strongest growth in the automotive industry. This is significant because high-end vehicles tend to use more leather than regular ones.

Tanners need to transform their production processes and to make “significant productivity gains”, the technology provider said in the report. It added: “Leading tanners need solutions that are more flexible, improve hide use and accelerate time to market.”

In recent comments, Lectra chief executive, Daniel Harari, said the company intends to invest more in developing advanced cutting solutions specifically for leather as part of its latest research and development plan.

He said he believes Lectra is “beginning, after 15 years, to understand leather” and beginning to see the next level of challenges that its customers’ leather-cutting requirements can present. “Our whole idea is to bring intelligence to the cutting room,” the company’s chief executive said.


CLIA Expects “positive new policies” to Encourage People to Buy in China

China’s leather-sector exports had a value of $86.1 billion in 2015, a decline of 3.1% year on year. Exports of all types of footwear for the year reached almost 9.9 billion pairs with a value of $51.1 billion, figures that represent falls of 8.1% and 5.1% respectively compared to 2014.

Commenting on these figures, the president of the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA), Su Chaoying, said that although exports were declining, growth in the country’s domestic market was going some way towards compensating.

In answer to a question from World Leather at a media conference on March 31, Mr Su said: “Growth continues, even if at a slower rate than in previous years.” He said CLIA had calculated that the more than 8,000 large producers of leather and finished leather products in China, those turning over at least $3 million per year, had increased their sales by 6.1% in 2015, although he did not give a total sales figure.

“In cities, Chinese consumers are buying, on average, 3.7 pairs of shoes per year each, while in the countryside it’s 1.7 pairs,” Mr Su continued. “Some people still like to buy things overseas but we expect a series of positive new policies from the government, including the lowering of sales tax, to encourage people to buy more in China.”


Tanzania Leather Industry Faces Bleak Future

Tanzania leather industry faces bleak future as global commodity price slump lowered demand for value added leather products from major importers.

Leather Association of Tanzania (LAT), Executive Secretary, Mr Joram Wakari, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that leather exports have dropped to less than 5 per cent forcing some players to close down their businesses.

"The situation is worse as very little is being exported due to fall of demand from the most importing countries including China and Pakistan thus leaving most godowns full of packed semi processed leather products," he said.

For example, one leather factory in Shinyanga has closed down operations due to falling demand for semi processed leather products. The situation has not impacted only Tanzania, but also Kenya, Ethiopia and Brazil. He said most business people in the leather industry were frustrated and had incurred heavy losses since when the situation started to surface on the last quarter last year. The governments will also lose substantial revenues from the leather industry.

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Chemical Registry to Guide Leather and Footwear Producers Worldwide

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme will be delivering a new online portal, The ZDHC Chemical Registry, as the next step in its path towards eliminating key chemicals in the global footwear and textile value-chain.

The Chemical Registry will be up and running as from August 2016 and is to include a comprehensive list of chemical products as well as a MRSL conformance assessment for each. It will map products against existing chemical accreditation such as bluesign, GOTS or OEKO-Tex STeP, and provide manufacturers with documentation to determine the level that a chemical product conforms to the ZDHC MRSL.

The data portal draws from experience learned during an extensive pilot conducted in 2015 across China, Taiwan, Pakistan, Scotland and Sri Lanka on behalf of the ZDHC Foundation by ADEC Innovations.

The ZDHC Programme represents 22 apparel and footwear brands leading the path towards eliminating key chemicals in the global value-chain. In 2015, the it released the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) Version 1.1, listing chemical substances banned from intentional use in facilities that process textile materials and trim parts in apparel and footwear including leather.

Earlier this month, the ZDHC Programme released its 2015 Annual Report highlighting its achievements and demonstrating how collaboration by industry leaders is driving new standards in responsible chemical management forward.


BSCIC Wants 7 Days More for Tannery Relocation

The Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) will recommend the government, if necessary, to extend the deadline by seven days for shifting tanneries to Savar Tannery Industrial Estate, reports news agency UNB. The government, earlier, urged the owners of tanneries to move to Savar by 31 March warning them of blocking their entry to Hazaribagh.

BSCIC chairman M Hazrat Ali on Sunday told reporters about the time extension plan for the relocation of the tanneries to Savar. All the infrastructure facilities have been made available at the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate, according to a BSCIC press statement.
Tannery owners can avail themselves of utility services electricity, gas and water supply - from the new Tannery Industrial Estate, it said. Installation of the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), Sewage Treatment Plant, Sludge Powder Generation System and Solid Waste Management System has already been completed in the new location. The BSCIC said shifting all the tanneries to Savar Industrial Estate is a must to make the CETP operational. It claimed that all the necessary supports have been extended to the tanners for their relocation to Savar.

Even, Tk 60 crore from the approved Tk 250 crore, have been given to the owners as compensation, the BSCIC chairman said. The rest of the compensation amount will be given in light of prescribed policy if the owners fulfill the conditions, he added.

The BSCIC chairman said they will provide all necessary supports after making their tannery units operational in the Savar Industrial Estate. Earlier at a function in the city on Sunday, industries minister Amir Hossain Amu said the leather industries must be shifted to their new location in Savar immediately. “We can’t allow leather industries to be there (at Hazaribahh) anymore, endangering the lives of crores of people. We can’t allow crores of people to die because of them,” he said. The minister was addressing the inaugural function of the 4th Nation SME Fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city. Amu said the site in the new leather estate in Savar is fully ready to provide all kinds of facilities, like gas and electricity, to the tanneries. He harshly criticised some newspapers for siding with the leather industry owners. "These newspapers once were against the leather industries, as those are causing pollution to the Buriganga river. But now what has happened to them! They’re now highlighting that rawhides are getting perished!” he asked. Amu said these tanneries have been contaminating the Buriganga river for decades. "Millions of people have been the victims of this industrial pollution, but these newspapers had never showed the pictures of these victims," he said.


ALAT Calls for More Investments in Leather Sector

TANZANIA is poised to become a leader in manufacturing of leather products if more investments are directed to the huge untapped potential in the sector.

According to the Leather Association of Tanzania (LAT), Executive Secretary, Mr Joram Wakari, Tanzania currently use only a fraction of its potential in leather industry while spending substantial amount of its scarce foreign exchange to import footwear and other leather materials from abroad.

“The country spends substantial amount of its scarce foreign exchange to import around 50 million shoes annually.

Other imports on leather products being bags and handbags, wallets and belts that can be made locally using the available raw hides and skins,” he said in an interview in Dar es Salaam.

He said statistics show that Tanzania is second in Africa after Ethiopia with highest livestock population of more 22 million cattle, 16 million goats and seven million sheep. Ethiopia is the leading producer and exporter of leather products in Africa.

He said despite its abundant raw materials, Tanzania continue to be the largest importer of leather products with only a fraction being manufactured locally. He said however, the association is optimistic with the fifth government industrialization drive that put the sector among the top priorities to increase its contribution to the economy and poverty alleviation.
“The country’s export earnings from semi processed leather materials are disproportionate with the substantial amount of foreign exchange spent in importing shoes, mostly low quality plastic made which are healthy and environmentally hazardous,” he said.

Furthermore, he said concerted efforts should be put in place to curb smuggling which is taking from the country over 50 per cent of the raw hides and skins produced in the country thus creating shortage to local manufacturers.

Presently, the local manufacturers can make less than one million footwear annually. He said the sector offers huge potentials for local investors to develop the present small scale leather factories as well as establishing the new ones.


Uganda: Used Clothes Ban Will Be Gradual, Says Government

The importation of secondhand clothes will continue for some time despite calls from East African Legislative Assembly (Eala)and textiles industry players to have the imports banned almost immediately.

In a discussion with the Eala members on a range of topics, including updates on textile and leather industry, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said secondhand cloth business is here to stay for a while because of the demand it commands.

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Zimbabwe Leather Development Council at APLF 2016

Mr. Shoko, from ZLDC at APLF 2016

Manufacturing of quality leather and leather goods is deeply anchored in the history of Zimbabwe and the sector has been identified as having enormous potential to contribute to the economy of the country and become a social and developmental driver.

“The leather industry is labor intensive and generates employment for the active population,” explained Clement Shoko, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Leather Development Council (ZLDC), talking from the organisation’s booth at the MM&T exhibition that was held in Hong Kong from 30 March to 1 April 2016.    Read More ...



The Government of Kenya announced plans to carry out a feasibility study the leather industry enhancement

Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed during the launch of the second edition of the SME Handbook at the Laico Regency on October 26, 2015. The government on Friday announced plans to carry out a feasibility study on how the leather industry can be enhanced through value addition ventures. Read More


17th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State Directed to Consider the Banning of the Export of Raw Hides and Skins outside the Region.

17th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State directed to consider the banning of the export of raw hides and skins outside the Region.

The Summit also directed the Partner States to procure their textile and footwear requirements from within the region where quality and supply capacities are available competitively, with a view to phasing out importation of used textile and foot wear within three years. Read More


Synthetic substitutes for leather “one of the biggest” polluters

Polymer producer Bayer MaterialSciences has developed a new system for the manufacture of polyurethane-coated fabrics saying that it will allow manufacturers of synthetic materials to clean up their production. The company has acknowledged that these synthetic substitutes, whose makers and sellers often specifically target the leather market, have one of the worst track-records among all types of coated fabric for causing health and environmental problems.

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Northampton confers honorary degrees on 15 more industry figures

More leather industry figures were invited to a special reception on July 17, 2014 to receive honorary degrees from the University of Northampton.


George Shoes Take 15,000 Unit Export Baby Steps

The Taiwanese company is currently functioning at just a quarter of its capacity in its factory in Addis Abeba Employees of George Shoe Factory, located in Bole Lemi industrial zone, are performing their regular duty towards producing the leather shoes that are to go international soon.

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US Apparel and Footwear Industry Renews Call for Immediate, and Long Term Extension of AGOA

The head of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) on August 4, 2014  renewed calls for swift action to renew the expiring African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In a letter sent on August 4, 2014  to President Barack Obama on the eve of a historic African leaders summit, AAFA president and CEO Juanita D. Duggan urged the President to support renewal along four key principles.

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New Middle East Leather Exhibition

Messe Frankfurt, a major global fair organiser, is establishing a new leather and leather products fair aimed at the Middle East market. Leatherworld Middle East is set to take place in Dubai, UAE, May 4-6, 2015.

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New Filling Solution Will Make Leather lighter, TFL claims

Leather chemicals manufacturer TFL has said helping tanners to get the best out of the raw material available to them will be a common thread running through its appearance at the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) in Shanghai in September.

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