ProssimaPelle 2017: research, analysis and methodsUNPAC celebrated the second edition of ProssimaPelle by bringing all the players in the chain to the same work table. With the aim of finding a common dialogue
On 11 May 2017, the Tannery Museum of Santa Croce sull’Arno hosted the second edition of ProssimaPelle, an event promoted by UNPAC (Union of Italian Tanning Auxiliary Manufacturers), under the patronage of the Municipality and the Association of Tanners of Santa Croce sull’Arno and with the participation of PoTeCo. An appointment that involved exponents of the entire leather chain (brands, tanners and chemists) to discuss the rules that can ensure the quality of products placed on the market and the environmental sustainability of their production processes. After the inauguration – held by the Mayor Giulia Deidda, by Edgardo Stefani, UNPAC President, Franco Donati, President of the Tanners’ Association, Daniela Carlotti of the Tanners’ Consortium of Ponte a Egola, Daniele Salvadori, Managing Director of the Banca Popolare di Lajatico – the day opened with a technical discussion panel entitled “La pelle che è. La pelle che vuoi. La prossima pelle che sarà“ (“Leather that is, the leather you want, the leather that will be”), introduced by Maurizio Maggioni, UNPAC secretary. He underlined the common goal of all actors in the chain to pursue the best sustainability, but also the varying speed of action of the various operators and, above all, the diffi culty in fi nding a common language.
Within a system
A long-standing invitation by the Kering Group, which aims at a production within a system, as explained by Chiara Morelli, Sustainability Manager of the brand. «We seek dialogue with tanners, we ask for traceability, we talk about MRLS (Manufacturing Restricted Substances List), but we don’t want to impose our rules. On the contrary, we want to be promoters of new rules that can also be associated with a work ethic. Something, then, that will become an added value for our brands and for the entire chain».
An enlarged vision
The demands of brands as an opportunity to stimulate the theme of sustainability were also underlined by Domenico Castiello, Manager of PoTeCo. He called attention to the entire history of a product, in the evaluation of the toxicological aspect. «When analyzing a product, we have to have a complete vision of the product, from start to the finish: a product, although “clean”, what did it throw out – before – in the environment? And what were the workers exposed to? What resources were used? We should not only look at the immediate, but an enlarged vision is needed».
The REACH revolution
Tiziana Gambicorti, of the Leather Experimental Station of Naples remembered the times when toxicological analyses were extremely rare, and mainly concerned performance. «The situation was reversed when REACH came into effect in 2007. Initially there were concerns, given the deregulation in other parts of the world. But the big brands have gradually met the demands of the European legislation and have in fact globalized the standardization. What at first seemed like a competitive disadvantage, today is an advantage because we are far ahead of the international competition, where less restrictive regulations are in place».
The discussion panel was concluded by Franca Nuti, representing the UNPAC Technical Commission, who was called to cautiously evaluate the specifications that chemical companies receive without getting carried away by the frenzy, but by organizing «the activities to place us in the condition to analyze and understand chemical products, so that we do not sign up for something that we are not aware of».
From theory to practice
At the end of the discussion panel, ProssimaPelle moved through the halls of the Museum, where the event continued with the exhibition moment. Participants were able to evaluate the fashion items developed on the trends developed by ARSUTORIA for the Autumn-Winter 18/19 season, and also to learn about the new products made with sustainable technologies, according to the “Guidelines for Leather Chemical Products and Guidelines for Fluorinated Compounds” produced by the UNPAC Technical Commission.