Taking place March 29-31, 2017, the now officially called APLF Leather & Materials+ features a series of seminars from trend forecasting to sustainability. While Materials+, the revamped components sector, is located on Level 3, Halls 3FG of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, opposite Fashion Access, APLF Leather is located in Halls 1A – 1E as per previous years.

Leather appears to be coming back into favour this year, with both designers and manufacturers, as the crude oil price has risen by around 37% to US$55/barrel from the US$40/barrel ruling at the time of last year’s APLF, according a statement from the organisers. Some in the leather industry are reported to be seeing some “green shoots” in terms of leather demand from footwear manufacturers for the first time in three years.

According to the organisers, Mexico has a larger presence at APLF Leather 2017 as tanners look to Hong Kong once again as a port of entry into the China and ASEAN markets and prepare to the possible negative impact of the U.S. new trade policy. The “APLF’s primary role is as a business platform where contracts are negotiated and signed; discussions take place on stands and in the aisles about the industry. Acquaintances are renewed that are so vital in an industry that is essentially a ‘people’s business’” said the organisers.

Highlighting the various factors in the backdrop to APLF 2017, the trade show aims to help the leather industry to actively market leather and educate upcoming designers about its beauty, quality, flexibility, biodegradability, sustainability and variety. In this respect, the organisers have teamed up with the Leather Naturally! initiative, and a series of educational seminars and conferences have been scheduled over the three days, where renowned experts can present on topics relevant to the industry such as the Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Conference and the Global Footwear Retail Conference.

Through the Alibaba.com Exhibitor Showcase, all participating exhibitors are given online product and company showrooms to showcase up to 50 products each, allowing buyers to search and view their listings, contact the exhibitors before the exhibition and place orders online during and after the exhibition.