Written for ILM by Consultant Technical Editor Karl Flowers, the narrated 25-minute long podcast explores the authors thoughts on each of these leather industry related hot topics.  Forming part of ILM’s “View from the Top” webinar series, Karl Flowers explores the topic of vegan labelling. “Anyone who has tried to edit pages on Wikipedia knows that it is virtually impossible to change the leather pages as they are now tightly controlled by a clique of vegan activists who will simply not allow any changes to the terms ‘vegan leather’, ‘faux leather’, or ‘mushroom leather’. The simple argument that is given in riposte is that “leather no longer means animals”, and the mainstream consumer just simply knows that it is no longer from an animal because of the magical prefix that tells them so”, he says. 

The second part of the podcast explores the well-known environmental 3R concepts of reduce, recycle or reuse (or re-manufacture) and how finished leather lends itself well to meeting these criteria as it is a long-lived material compared with other, non-leather materials and it fits perfectly into the idea of reducing waste as it is itself, a by-product or waste material from the food industry. 

And finally, commenting on the leather industry post-Covid-19, Flowers says: “In a post-Covid-19 world, near-shoring, the alignment of the supply chain closer to its market will accelerate. Central and South America will feed the big U.S. market; Eastern Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa will feed the EU market. The sub-continent and Oceania will feed the big Chinese and Russian markets. An austere industry will focus on value-for-money and quality, certification will increase, and self-certification will be treated with caution, if not disdain.”

To download and listen to the whole podcast click here.