Respected leather industry professional passes away

United Kingdom
Published:  15 April, 2021
Credit: Cathryn Widdowson

The leather sector pays its respects to Neil Perrin, who dedicated his professional life to the industry and passed away on April 12.

After studying leather manufacturing in Northampton, Perrin joined Pittards (formerly Keunen Bros) in 1980, where he spent 17 years, before joining PrimeAsia as Director of Manufacturing, a position he held for ten years. After a period working with Shanghai Richina, Perrin joined footwear brand Ecco to run the group’s tanneries in Thailand, China and Indonesia, a position he retained until the end of 2016 when he joined KT Trading. He has spent the past few years working as a consultant in Hong Kong.

Director of Footwear Elite, Cathryn Widdowson, who worked with Perrin at Pittards, PrimeAsia and Ecco, was among those paying tribute to Perrin and fondly remembers his personable and collaborative work ethic and strong leadership. “He respected everyone - no matter what their position and never talked down to anyone. He completely believed in his team, empowering them as much as he could and enjoyed seeing them grow in confidence as they took responsibility for some decisions”, she said, adding. “He could transform any tannery he worked in into a well-oiled machine, running at peak performance, with a fully motivated workforce, producing leathers that always met the required standards. He knew his craft inside out. All tanneries that he managed came up to their best performance and outputs under his management.”