The challenges facing the leather industry

Photo: Sam-17

Financial challenges

  • Salted hides are highly wasteful in transport, material and energy costs
  • Salted hides putrefy quickly and up to 5% can be lost during transportation
  • Just-In-Time leather manufacture is currently not possible
  • Environmental costs involved in disposing of salt can be prohibitive

Environmental challenges

  • The current supply chain is an over-intensive user of salt, energy and water.
  • Salt causes significant contamination of fresh water supplies and farming land.
  • Heavy weight of the salt transported increases fuel usage and carbon footprint.

The current leather supply chain is NOT sustainable

  • Tanning is so bad for the environment that developed countries typically outsource to less developed countries.
  • Legislation is being considered in China, and has already been passed in India, which together account for 50% of the world’s global tanning capacity, to ban the use of salt.
  • Many so called eco-leather are just as harmful to the environment because they are contain plastics.