Credit: Royal Smit & Zoon

Getting your philosophy right

Redwood Comment
Published:  18 May, 2022

Mike Redwood reflects on Royal Smit & Zoon’s 200th anniversary dinner, and the company’s business philosophy.

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Credit: APLF

Discovering a love for leather

Redwood Comment
Published:  11 May, 2022

Mike Redwood discusses the great benefit of activities like the APLF Design-a-Bag Competition in helping people to discover leather and fall in love with the material.

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Credit: TShaKopy/Shutterstock.com

Why are alternative biomaterials targeting genuine leather?

ILM Comment
Published:  09 May, 2022

ILM Deputy Editor Tom Hogarth asks why alternative biomaterials are choosing to target leather for market share and public perception.

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Credit: tomertu/Shutterstock.com

PEST control for a turbulent world

Redwood Comment
Published:  03 May, 2022

On a global scale, things have only gotten more concerning since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the leather industry must keep an eye on the issues, explains Mike Redwood.

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Credit: SeventyFour/Shutterstock.com

Opportunities in leather should apply to all genders

Redwood Comment
Published:  26 April, 2022

Mike Redwood discusses the need for more women in the leather industry and the opportunities available.

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Credit: Kira auf der Heide

The much needed promotional and educational booklet on leather

Redwood comment
Published:  20 April, 2022

Two weeks ago, the UK based Leather Conservation Centre held its first three-day residential course for conservators since December 2019. It was a big moment as this normally annual course attracts conservators from Museums all round the world. 

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Credit: khathar ranglak/Shutterstock.com

Getting younger generations excited about leather

Redwood Comment
Published:  13 April, 2022

Mike Redwood looks to innovative figures for inspiration on how the leather industry can take its messaging to younger generations.

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Debbie Burton speaks at the ILM/APLF conference in Dubai.

Decisions on material choice should be based on facts

Redwood Comment
Published:  06 April, 2022

Mike Redwood examines the reasons behind a lack of leather knowledge in the general population and the efforts in the industry to combat this problem.

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Credit: APLF Dubai

What did we discover in Dubai?

ILM Comment
Published:  05 April, 2022

The “one-off” APLF Dubai fair is over, and it has thrown up many new questions. Where is the best future home for an international leather industry trade fair? Will we be in Hong Kong in 2023, Dubai or both? There are pros and cons for each, writes ILM Content Director Martin Ricker.

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Credit: Yash Jain

APLF Dubai: a moment for conversation

Redwood Comment
Published:  30 March, 2022

As APLF Dubai gets underway, Mike Redwood acknowledges the efforts of key industry figures who paved the way for the leather industry as it is today.

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Credit: TM creations/Shutterstock.com

Kangaroos are better for Australia than cattle

Comment
Published:  23 March, 2022

Industry Consultant Catherine Money discusses the facts that contradict the flawed thinking of animal rights activists when it comes to the kangaroo industry in Australia.

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Credit: design36/Shutterstock.com

Leather must stay focused on the environment

Redwood Comment
Published:  23 March, 2022

The war in Ukraine has driven other issues out of the news and redrawn the priorities for business, writes Mike Redwood, but one item that must stay on the agenda for tanners is climate change. 

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Credit: Gutesa/Shutterstock.com

The need for unity in a time of conflict

ILM Comment
Published:  18 March, 2022

There are many reasons for us all to be pulled apart in 2022, but that means the leather industry needs to fight for unity more than ever before, writes Deputy Editor Tom Hogarth.

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Credit: REDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock.com

Transforming cooperation in the leather industry

Redwood Comment
Published:  16 March, 2022

The leather industry desperately needs more cooperation and unity, especially when the world at large is so fractured, Mike Redwood comments.

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Credit: nancekievill/Shutterstock.com

A truly unwelcome black swan event

Redwood Comment
Published:  09 March, 2022

Dr Mike Redwood examines the potential fallout of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the latest event to shake the world's, and leather's, global trade foundations.

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Credit: Toria/Shutterstock.com

Heading for a post-globalisation leather industry

ILM Comment
Published:  04 March, 2022

ILM Deputy Editor Tom Hogarth ponders whether globalisation is at an end for the leather industry and what the future might look like.

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Credit: Land to Market

The world is short of herbivores

Redwood Comment
Published:  02 March, 2022

Mike Redwood explains why we actually need more livestock in the world, albeit with better and more regenerative management.

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Credit: hankimage9/Shutterstock.com

Craft skills vs mass production

Redwood Comment
Published:  23 February, 2022

Mike Redwood discusses how leather, particularly luxury goods, has held out against mass production practices in favour of tradition and artisan skill.

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Credit: Sk Hasan Ali/Shutterstock.com

Savar is a dreadful tale of waste

Redwood Comment
Published:  16 February, 2022

Mike Redwood reviews the situation in Bangladesh and the need for the global leather industry to work in unison to support each other and protect leather’s image.

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The colour, softness and versatility of leather

Redwood Comment
Published:  08 February, 2022

Mike Redwood compares the state of the world and the state of leather and finds some common ground for the industry to look to as we promote leather in 2022.

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Credit: Stas Moroz/Shutterstock.com

Is regenerative agriculture a golden opportunity?

ILM Comment
Published:  07 February, 2022

ILM Deputy Editor Tom Hogarth discusses the topic of regenerative agriculture, and the murky waters of an issue that often is not as well defined as it could be.

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Credit: shutterlk/Shutterstock.com

Is it time to move on from China?

Redwood Comment
Published:  02 February, 2022

Mike Redwood discusses the APLF’s move to Dubai for 2022, and the wider indications of a shift away from China’s hold on the leather industry in recent times.

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Credit: Milosz Maslanka/Shutterstock.com

The leather industry is not immune to geopolitics

Redwood Comment
Published:  25 January, 2022

Mike Redwood recalls some of the toughest points in his career, when the necessity of leather work and omnipresent geopolitical turmoil put him and colleagues in dangerous and sometimes fatal situations.

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Credit: Anel Alijagic/Shutterstock.com

Fake it to make it is a poor template for innovation

Redwood Comment
Published:  19 January, 2022

Mike Redwood reviews some of the failures in leather’s past, examples of how innovation is never as easy as it sounds, and what this means for the industry today.

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Credit: Fit Ztudio/Shutterstock.com

New Year, new leather industry

ILM Comment
Published:  17 January, 2022

ILM Deputy Editor Tom Hogarth examines the challenges we have ahead in 2022 and explains why we have so many more opportunities to take advantage of.

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Credit: Piñatex

End the false claims of leather “alternatives”

Redwood Comment
Published:  12 January, 2022

Mike Redwood addresses the false claims of vegan materials, which often rely on the use of fossil fuel-based materials, and why leather should be able to stand alone with its many benefits.

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Credit: kenary820/Shutterstock.com

New Year resolutions for leather

Redwood Comment
Published:  07 January, 2022

As we start what will be another challenging year, Mike Redwood looks to the positive moves the leather industry can make and presents us with two New Year resolutions.

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Credit: Martin Schmidli

The magic of the sheep

Redwood Comment
Published:  23 December, 2021

In his final comment of 2021, Mike Redwood looks at sheep and examines all of the benefits they have offered us throughout history, from leather to wool to felt.

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Credit: Gustavo Quepon

Leather can help solve our biggest problems

Redwood Comment
Published:  16 December, 2021

In his latest comment, Mike Redwood explores the concept that leather has always been a positive influence on society and only continues to become more beneficial over alternatives for the environment.

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Credit: Sam Setter

Closing Savar complex would not solve the problem

ILM Comment
Published:  13 December, 2021

The Bangladesh Environment Ministry is now pursuing action to close the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate until sufficient water treatment facilities can be put in place but this decision would cause more problems than it could solve. Tom Hogarth reviews the situation.

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Credit: Riccardo Annandale

Igniting the spirit of leather innovation

Redwood Comment
Published:  08 December, 2021

Mike Redwood explains that now is the time for the industry to cooperate with the supply chain and drive innovation to show the world that leather is the right material for the future.

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Credit: Brooke Cagle

Leather needs the power of youth

Redwood Comment
Published:  01 December, 2021

Mike Redwood explains that as our post-Covid world is rapidly changing, we must be properly supporting and enticing younger generations in the leather industry.

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Credit: COP26

What effects has COP26 had for the leather industry?

ILM Comment
Published:  26 November, 2021

While much of the world waited and hoped during COP26 that the world leaders present would make some noticeable commitment to correcting the climate change path we have all found ourselves heading towards, the leather industry waited to see if methane would be a priority in those commitments and how tightly leather would be linked to the issue. Tom Hogarth breaks down the fallout and what we can expect going forward.

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Credit: Jonas Allert

A long and better life for leather

Redwood Comment
Published:  24 November, 2021

The fact that leather lasts longer than competitive materials is one of its key strengths, says Mike Redwood.

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Credit: COP26

A coordinated approach is needed post-COP26

Redwood Comment
Published:  17 November, 2021

Mike Redwood expresses his disappointment in world leader’s efforts at the recent COP26 summit in Scotland, but highlights the clear opportunity for the leather industry to show its commitment to a greener future.

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Prince Charles at COP26 in Scotland

The value of royal endorsement

Redwood Comment
Published:  10 November, 2021

The value of exposing monarchs, Presidents, Prime Ministers and other key individuals to the benefits of leather cannot be over-emphasised, explains Dr Mike Redwood.

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Sir David Attenborough in the audience at COP26

The leather industry has united for COP26

Redwood Comment
Published:  02 November, 2021

Our industry has not always been unified in the way it needs to be but getting a leather manifesto out ahead of COP26 is a great start, says Mike Redwood.

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Metcha's APLF presentation focused on leather trends

Promoting leather to a new generation

Redwood Comment
Published:  27 October, 2021

The world of the Internet has invaded our lives in the last eighteen months. The webinar, for example, has consistently presented useful material in a timely way and can still be valid as we learn to live in equilibrium with Covid-19 by making content available for those who missed the live session. 

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Credit: Brian Jackson

Fasten your seatbelt for rapid global change

Redwood Comment
Published:  20 October, 2021

From Moroccan leather to The Hudson Bay Company, our industry has been deeply integrated into world trade from the start of shipping. Leather is not a commodity, the complexity of its raw materials and the leathers that can be produced from each is staggering and has resulted in many strong intercontinental shipping routes.

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Credit: devn

We need to invest in repair shops

Redwood comment
Published:  13 October, 2021

Overconsumption is driving us towards an extinction event. It is filling landfills that we do not have space for, consuming resources at an unprecedented rate and using virgin materials, made from fossil fuels, in ridiculous quantities. 

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Volvo XC70 leather interior. Credit: Volvo

Creatures of emotion

Redwood comment
Published:  06 October, 2021

Dale Carnegie said: “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity."  Carnegie died in 1955 and was most famous for his self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People, published in 1936.

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Credit: Tbel Abuseridze

Just three words

Redwood comment
Published:  29 September, 2021

Performance, sustainability and beauty. These three words have been embedded in leather for a million years in one form or another. Not a few thousand years as we often say, not tens of thousands but almost certainly one million years of leather.

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Credit: Tamara Bellis

Education matters

Redwood comment
Published:  23 September, 2021

A recent article in the online magazine The Conversation makes an important point about the teaching of sustainability in our fashion schools; that it must begin with universities if the fashion industry is to change.

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Credit: Goran Ivos

Keeping leather relevant

Redwood Comment
Published:  15 September, 2021

We are now in a world where living with the pandemic is normal and resilience in business matters more than ever. Companies must be able to adapt quickly to the unexpected. Anything can happen from cash flow interruption to worker absence, supply chain turmoil to end user revolt, sudden lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

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Think carefully about keeping pets

Redwood comment
Published:  06 September, 2021

For the last few weeks, our focus has been on Afghanistan. Coming to terms how it has impacted on our own families and friends over the past 20 years as well struggling with the implications for the future after the global impact of President Trump and Covid-19. 

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Credit: Mohamed Abdulraheem

Is leather being left behind by the fashion industry?

ILM Comment
Published:  02 September, 2021

Legitimate or not, the fashion industry’s eco-friendly campaigns have often left leather behind, but what can we do about it?

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The distraction of carbon offsets

Redwood comment
Published:  31 August, 2021

Planting trees still makes up around half of the carbon offset business. The fact that even after the young trees are established, they will need to remain standing somewhere between 50 to 100 years to absorb the levels of CO2 they were planted for means that this is not an easy solution. 

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The leather industry is at the mercy of transport restrictions

ILM Comment
Published:  26 August, 2021

While much of the world seems set on moving on from pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions, constraints on international travel and shipping continue to affect how the leather industry conducts business on a global scale.

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Credit: Pradeep Gaur

Listening to unheard voices

Redwood comment
Published:  24 August, 2021

It has long been my hope that the leather industry would make more of the fact that it employs large numbers of people, and that the leather produced creates employment for not only many more but for huge numbers throughout the supply chain.

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Credit: Jaime Lopes

Is it time to get back on a plane for work?

Worldwide
Published:  19 August, 2021

Over the past few weeks, I’ve attended a wedding and been on holiday outside of my own country. Both events felt both familiar and alien at the same time. Blowing kisses to friends and family replaced a hug and fist bumps replaced a handshake with strangers meeting for the first time. This is life after the double jab and we’re getting used to the new world of living with Covid-19 while getting on with our lives after lockdown.

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