Leather industry under siege

First published in the May/June 2018 edition of ILM
Published:  07 August, 2018
Dr Mike Redwood

The failure of the footwear industry to move back to leather in a big way as hide prices weakened has created considerable nervousness. A major element in this is that alternate materials are getting better and are easier to use with the tools of manufacturing 4.0. As the cost of labour rises and workers become harder to find as a result of aging populations, automation in manufacturing has increased in importance, this need for the speed of automation is further driven by the consumer expectation to be able to receive delivery of product very shortly after seeing it on whatever media they are using. This means that even a higher price of oil, putting up the cost of synthetics, may not provide a solution.

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