Opinions

6 vital elements in Post COVID-19 era
The leather industry has been in transition for some years, with many value chain partners delivering very positive results. In this blog I am describing how I see the Post-COVID-19 period in the leather industry. I will do this by highlighting six of the major elements the industry is focusing or should be focusing on, for a sustainable society.
Being proud of leather
I am proud to be part of the leather industry, an industry that has been making a huge progress to manufacture a sustainable material, bringing comfort, luxury and joy to consumers. Personally, I feel less and less need to go into the defense when leather is debated in comparison to alternative materials. After all, most of the alternative materials do not have a better impact story, or the ‘arguments used’ are far from neither transparent, nor sustainable with often plastics involved.
Update leather industry
If the leather industry showed signs to pick up again in our view from a difficult 2019 then the Covid-19 virus is a new cause for uncertainty as it impacts global supply chains such as the supply chain of leather. This means for 2020 again at least for the first half year we continue to see uncertainty and yet at Smit & Zoon we continue to be tentatively positive. More and more parties in the leather industry join Leather Naturally and similar initiatives to make genuine leather again more visible.
Leather industry continues to feel global trade uncertainty
The global trade uncertainty continues to impact the leather production because this uncertainty impacts the demand for cars, leather goods and shoes, aside from the existing changing nature of the use of leather as a fabric.
How many wake-up calls does the Leather industry and you need?
I am proud to be part of the leather industry, an industry that has been making a huge progress to manufacture a sustainable material, bringing comfort, luxury and joy to consumers. Personally, I feel less and less need to go into the defence when leather is debated in comparison to alternative materials
Education and promotion of leather
Leather Naturally is the global leather industry’s initiative to educate and promote leather to designers, brands and consumers. Leather Naturally as an association has doubled membership since last year and is eagerly welcoming new companies in the leather industry as a member.
Restrictions on Chrome VI
Restriction is one of the available instruments in EU-REACh to protect human health and the environment from unacceptable risks posed by chemicals.
LIFE Biopol
The LIFE Biopol project aims to provide answers to the most relevant issues of European policies for the leather industry: in particular the reduction of hazardous chemicals as well as their environmental footprint and impacts.
Simplicity
If the leather industry showed signs to pick up again in our view from a difficult 2019 then the Covid-19 virus is a new cause for uncertainty as it impacts global supply chains such as the supply chain of leather. This means for 2020 again at least for the first half year we continue to see uncertainty and yet at Smit & Zoon we continue to be tentatively positive. More and more parties in the leather industry join Leather Naturally and similar initiatives to make genuine leather again more visible.
Pride or Hide
The leather industry is experiencing a challenging time. One of the biggest challenges we currently face is to ensure that consumers and designers base their choice for a material on facts and understanding.