Leather Naturally, along with 25 other international industry organizations, again called on the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), currently underway in Sharm el Sheick, Egypt, to prioritize natural materials as a means to directly mitigate climate impacts. Expanding on the message sent last year at COP26 in Glasgow, the "Leather Manifesto" urges the great of the earth to recognize the cyclical and climate-efficient characteristics of leather and other natural fibers. In particular, the leather supply chain is urging COP27 to understand the negative implications of the huge quantities of raw hides currently being thrown away in favor of the use of synthetic materials. "Approximately 120 million hides and skins, equivalent to nearly 600 million square meters of material, end up in landfills each year," the document states. "This results in nearly 15 million tons of CO2 emissions. The problem is that industry is replacing natural material "with synthetic alternatives derived from fossil fuels. This is why the Leather Manifesto calls for COP 27 support for natural fibers, LCA methodology and slow fashion."
"If we want to prevent further damage to the planet, we must learn to make the best use of available resources and to do so without diminishing them or causing damage to the environment. It should not be acceptable to waste huge volumes of a natural, versatile and readily available raw material such as hides," says the Leather Manifesto. "In this way, we are missing the opportunity to put shoes on more than 2.5 billion feet. That's 33 percent of the world's population to whom we could provide shoes."
""Leather is part of the solution for climate change and Leather Naturally is proud to support this manifesto. It clearly sets out the responsibility we have to use what is a natural by-product, and the benefits that leather can bring to a circular society", says Debbie Burton, president of Leather Naturally.
In addition to Leather Naturally, the Leather Manifesto is supported by ICT (the international body of tanners), LHCA (the association of U.S. tanners and raw hides and skins traders), IULTCS (the Union of national associations of Leather Chemists), UNIC (the Italian tanning association) and Cotance (the European tanning federation).