An English term is often used in the preparation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan: ‘boost’, i.e. ‘push’, ‘thrust’. This is no accident. The changes brought about by the health emergency have affected our way of working, studying, learning, caring, playing, in other words, how we live our lives. All this has obviously been disorienting for us, but at the same time it has forced us to face the realisation that we cannot limit ourselves to the thought of restoring the world we knew. That world is largely a thing of the past. We are now called upon to map out and implement new economies which, in order to be able to rise to the challenges of our time, can no longer persist in following linear development models but must follow circular growth models, extractive economies must be followed (and as quickly as possible) by regenerative economies. This means recognising that sustainability is no longer a limitation but a boost towards the future.
The tanning industry can and must make a significant contribution to the process of economic, social and cultural change that sees us moving towards sustainability. The twin transitions, ecological and digital, are two sides of the same coin, on one hand protecting environmental resources and on the other promoting technology and innovation. A product with a high added value, created from waste from the food chain, leather is made on the crest of these two drives, and the efforts made by the entire tanning chain in terms of investment, research and training bear witness to the desire to make the leather industry a champion of sustainability. On the strength of its history, the Italian leather industry is working on a future built on natural materials that can be used endlessly, rich inperformance and values that will last over time. The knowledge and skills that have shaped the history of the leather industry are now being called upon to propel the drive forward that the country needs.
In line with its vocation, the Italian National Leather Research Institute (SSIP), thanks to its system of skills, laboratories distributed throughout the territory, human capital and institutional alliances, is ready to make its contribution not only to enhance the ‘restorative cure’ that the country needs, but to outline those production models with a high rate of innovation and sustainability able to consolidate its leadership in strategic production sectors, starting with fashion.

Edoardo Imperiale, General Manager of SSIP –Italian Leather Research Institute