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In an interview with French magazine Madame Figaro, Jean Cassegrain, grandson of Longchamp’s founder and General Manager of the company, said he refutes ‘greenwashing’ and there is no such thing as ‘vegan leather’.
During the interview published on November 12, Jean Cassegrain explained how the French leather goods manufacturer incorporated sustainable development long before the term existed. “An artisan at Longchamp respects the materials, does not like to throw away and tries to make the maximum use of leather”, said Cassegrain. “We have not invented anything, this process has always existed in the history of leather goods”, he added, highlighting that contrary to some other competitors, Longchamp owns its manufacturing plants, and where controlled subcontractors are used, “we tell them how to tackle the work, how to use glue and what quality to buy, how many stitches are to be done per centimetre.”
When asked about his thoughts on ‘vegan leather’, Cassegrain replied that “it's not leather, so they name it differently! They usurp the name leather. ‘Vegan leather’ sounds good, but it's a lie”, he said and explained how leather is a renewable raw material and that no cow is raised for its hide. “Tanneries have been upcycling for five thousand years and since it’s waste, we do something noble. It has the image of a polluting industry, but when the sector is serious, as it is the case in France, the water discharged into the rivers is cleaner than the water pumped in the first place! To make quality, you have to work in a clean environment”, he said.
Cassegrain concluded by saying that industrialists must constantly remind consumers that they know how to do their job and that to ensure the products have been manufactured in respectable conditions, Longchamp maintains its know-how in France, despite having some ‘Made in Tunisia’ and ‘Made in Romania’ products in its workshops. “We are totally transparent on the matter. This balance allows the consumer to benefit from a good quality-price ratio, one of the values of our house, and the Company today has 800 employees in France. Our commitment is not the "Made in France" but the "Made by Longchamp".
Source: Madame Figaro