Where will leather fit in the future supply chain?

“It is not clear where leather fits into the future here” said David Shah as he spoke about future trends at the APLF Show in Hong Kong in March 2017. With aged High St retailers and brands closing down while Nike continues its growth towards an annual turnover of US$50 billion, it is clear he has a point.” A quote from the Redwood Column written by Mike Redwood published by ILM. How will leather fit into a world of growing e-commerce, industry 4.0 and greater levels of scrutiny than ever from NGO’s and consumers via the mainstream and social media platforms? Does leather have a strong future and what will the tannery look like in the year 2030?

“I see it – I want it”

The modern consumer lives in the instance; when something is seen it is bought. That is the thinking that drives Amazon, JD, Alibaba etc to same day delivery and with logistics, psychology and all manner of science to try and guess what we will want to buy next. It is called “anticipatory shipping” and Amazon already have a patent for it.

The Zara (Inditex) approach outsmarted the seasonal system with much faster turnaround than was possible from competitors working on a model that involves buying in bulk from the other side of the world, with all the issues of lost time in development and prototyping plus the discounting losses from making forecasts far ahead of time. Moving beyond that to selling direct from the catwalk appears to be splitting the fashion world as many companies cannot finance the inventory involved.

Yet, industry in general does have to find ways of meeting the “I see it; I want it” consumer expectation. Knitted footwear from Adidas and Amazon’s recent patent application for an on-demand apparel-manufacturing system are indicative of serious attempts to offer consumers what they want. But what about leather? What about how leather will be made in the future, how it will be sold and will the consumer in 2030 love leather products the way previous generations have? These topics and more will be featured during the “Tannery 2030” conference with a strong focus on e-commerce, transparency, new chemical and mechanical leather processing technology and innovation.

Find out more

To find out more about the provisional speaker line-up and topics please click here. Links to sign up as a delegate can also be found on this link. ILM will announce additional speakers and topics in the coming weeks on the website.

The “Tannery 2030” conference is lead sponsored by Lectra and Smit & zoon, it is supported by Taiwan based tanners Tehchang and the refreshment sponsor is Zschimmer & Schwarz.