Held on January 12-13, 2017 in Cologne, Germany, the event was attended by 85 industry representatives, mainly from leading consumer brands. The overall objective was to provide a better understanding of the leather material to brands, and to raise awareness of the fundamental differences to other textile or synthetic substrates.

As a follow-up seminar to an initial symposium organised in early 2016, this year’s event was tailored to brands and others in commercial roles in the leather supply chain. In January 2016, Lanxess worked with footwear industry body CADS to organise a seminar that discussed important topics regarding leather preservation and provided an overview of activities connected to the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) initiative.

“The main theme of the seminar is the tanning process. The aim was to explain different tanning technologies, and provide a scientific risk assessment and benchmark for the various alternatives,” said Dietrich Tegtmeyer, Head of Global Development Crusting and Leather Industry Relations at Lanxess’ Leather business unit.

Topics included reasons why a majority of tanners around the world use chrome-tanning methods. In a broader perspective, presentations and discussions dealt with questions concerning the image of leather in the eyes of brands and consumers. The participants agreed that the whole leather industry must improve in providing the necessary resources to educate brands, consumers and the general public about the qualities and benefits of leather.

During the event, Dr Volker Rabe, Lanxess, outlined the company’s ten key rules to help avoid the formation of chrome VI during leather manufacture during the seminar. Read more here.