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Redesigning a Future for Leather

In this space we very often discuss alternative materials, the role of leather in various sectors and other current issues that affect the whole supply chain. At ACLE in Shanghai -- coming up in just a few months -- we want to take advantage of the gathering of industry professionals to drill down and look at what has to change to put leather on a new path to sustained success.

Clearly, the leather business is not what it used to be. Consumers are now focused on casual styles and the marketplace is full of alternative materials that have helped drive the industry to its current slump. This is not a cyclical downturn, however, but rather a disruption of traditional norms in the leather business. The 2019 Shanghai Shake-up Bring together experts and innovators in tanning as well as footwear and leather goods design to look at what needs to happen in Redesigning a Future for Leather.

For the first panel, How to Transform the Role of the Tanner, experts will take a look at the critical role of the tanner in leather’s future. Traditional leather, especially low-grade material, has lost much of its market, and leather as a generic commodity material is no longer viable. The tanners who will not only survive, but thrive, are the ones who will innovate, develop creative new materials from leather, and be more responsive to their customers.

The second panel will address “Why Aren’t Designers Using Leather?”  No longer does leather compete against variations of itself. The marketplace is now full of materials suitable for different fashion applications and leather is just one of the choices. Hide prices are at their lowest levels, yet designers are not taking advantage of today’s bargains. Why? We’ll hear from designers in these traditional destinations for leather about why the material is not making its way back into the market what can be done to change that. The audience will also hear from a global marketer with expertise in attracting the Chinese consumer and how leather can be marketed to this demographic.

The program is being organized by APLF and Hidenet with the cooperation of the CLIA, and will be presented in English with Chinese translation. This year’s Shanghai Shake-up is set for the afternoon of the second day of the fair, September 4th, from 14:00-16:00. There is no charge to attend but registration is required. For more details and to see the latest confirmed participants, visit the event page.