Brazilian Law 4.888 to protect leather

Blogger - Richard Smith
Published:  11 November, 2013
Richard Smith

There has always been an outcry when leather is called “synthetic leather”, for example and it is manufactured from petroleum derivatives to imitate leather.

How can something made from crude oil be leather? And why should it seek to imitate it in feel, for example, but at a much lower price? Could it be that leather has certain qualities about it – smell, feel, durability beauty and longevity that makes it so attractive to the discerning and enlightened consumer?

In Brazil there has been a law on the statute books that prohibits the word “leather” being used unless it is actually leather and the Center for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB) is now taking an active role in ensuring that the law is obeyed and applied to protect leather from cheap imitations that seek to benefit from its traditional reputation.

The CICB is pushing very hard with the "Leather Law - 4.888". This law says that it is forbidden to identify a product as "synthetic leather", "eco leather"; to use a prefix or a suffix before/after the word leather. Leather is leather and it only comes from animal skin.

At the moment, the CICB is monitoring 200 Brazilian publications and brands. So far 675 infractions have been identified in Brazil including multinational companies such as Adidas, Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz and 134 notifications have been sent out.

The monitoring continues and if necessary a second notification is sent out. Now the CICB is reaching the stage of judicial notifications.

Information courtesy of CICB and published courtesy of APLF Ltd