After launching the LITE (Low Impact To the Environment) sourcing programme, furthering its commitment to transparency and sustainability throughout the supply chain, the international tanning group ISA TanTec recently announced the launch of the Greener Pastures collection, with leathers that are fully traceable by lot to the farms or ranches.
Headquartered in Macao (China), ISA TanTec operates through 4 tanneries and all together with over 1,100 people. Its facilities include Saigon TanTec (Vietnam), TransAsia TanTec (Vietnam), Heshan TanTec (China) and Mississippi TanTec (USA).
The group’s tanneries, which boast the LWG Gold certification, have implemented the LITE programme focussing on the sustainable use of natural resources, accountability in the supply chain and the fair and ethical treatment of animals. These principles are perfectly embodied in the new collection that offers leathers destined for both the footwear sector and the luxury market. “Greener Pastures leathers for the FW2022 season are fully traceable by lot to the farms or ranches with chain of custody documentation and must meet specific animal welfare program requirements including Beef Quality Assurance (BQA), Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) and USDA Humane Handling program protocol, or the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) animal welfare guidelines dependent upon source”, explains ISA TanTec. “Aiming to responsibly source all cattlehides, as well as chemicals, packaging, and other materials and assets in our supply chain, all the practices are up to standards and are founded on a continuous improvement approach” declares Uwe Hutzler, Chief Executive Officer of ISA TanTec Group.
Based on the Greener Pastures Protocol, “animals are raised without the use of antibiotics, added hormones or steroids. They are also fed a 100% vegetarian diet”, explains Ronda de Bie, Senior Vice President Sales of the group. “Our customers can be sure that the origin of the hide meets the highest standards of animal welfare and ethical principles”, adds Uwe Hutzler, Chief Executive Officer of ISA TanTec Group.
Another important aspect made possible by the LITE programme is the processing of data useful for measuring the environmental impact of the tanning production. Of all the leathers produced, reliable numbers are available relating to energy use and water consumption obtained on the basis of a methodology verified by EY (Ernst & Young). Thanks to these data, manufacturing brands can in turn carry out LCA studies of their finished products with a view to continuous improvement.
ISA TanTec is obviously an extraordinary observation point to comment on the current situation of the tanning sector and to look to the future. We took the opportunity to ask how much the pandemic has weighed on the group and which perspectives are there for 2021.
“During 2020, mainly in the second quarter we suffered when the lockdowns started, especially in the U.S. Customers were confused and they reacted in a very cautious and extreme way. Not wanting excessive inventory, they stopped ordering for a while. The whole supply chain and the sourcing of shoes stopped. We had a big drop in business but still managed to be profitable in the second quarter. Although measures were implemented, we did not dismiss any worker. Recovery came in the third and the fourth quarter. Several brands stopped too early and for too long, leading to unexpected rebound effects. Even with lockdowns in Europe, demand is coming back strong in the U.S. We are at full production capacity in all tanneries and demand is outstanding”, Uwe Hutzler concludes.