The story of leather products & shoes too often starts with the destruction of a rainforest. Clearing rainforest for the expansion of cattle ranching is one of the main causes of deforestation in the Amazon.
In fact cattle ranching occupies about 80% of the 70 million hectares of rainforest that has been cleared in the Amazon as reported by Greenpeace in a 2009 report. In addition, further down the supply chain, leather products & shoes are also linked to many dangerous sources of pollution such as the chemicals and glues used in the leather production processes.
These sustainability issues increasingly pose reputational and regulatory risks. TFT works with pioneering companies determined to rewrite the leather products & shoes story and turn those risks into opportunities. To learn more about TFT's experience and goals for our engagement with the leather industry read Building on our Foundations.
A responsible product in the leather and shoe category respects the environment and improves people's lives at every stage of its lifecycle.
While there are issues all along the supply chain, delivering responsible leather products & shoes requires intense attention to extracting raw materials, production and traceability.
Extraction: responsible leather products & shoes contain only legal, traceable and sustainably-produced raw materials. Ranches should not be developed at the expense of ecologically and carbon-rich forest areas and indigenous and local communities.
Production: responsible leather products & shoes meet high environmental and social standards during production. For example, creating a responsible shoe means careful use of chemicals and glues used in tanning and assembly as well as maintenance of safe working conditions.
Traceability: this is the backbone of a commitment to developing only legal and responsible leather products & shoes. To verify compliance with the highest standards, companies must implement robust tracking systems all the way back to the farm.
Setting up traceability systems and tackling environmental and social issues at the extraction and production stage can be particularly complex and is often distant from a company’s core business and markets. TFT supports its Members on the ground, giving objective insight into the realities of the supply chain and the practical support needed to deliver responsible leather products & shoes.
HOW WE DELIVER
TFT has a decade-long track record of successfully assisting businesses to deliver Responsible Products to market. We help you develop and implement a credible action plan. We’re present on the ground, on ranches and in factories, to identify and mitigate your key environmental and social risks. Our approach includes 5 key services:
1. Map the supply chain and identify key social and environmental risks;
2. Set up a traceability system all the way back to the raw material source;
3. Provide technical assistance on the ground to help tackle key sustainability risks;
4. Achieve legal compliance and certification when credible standards exist;
5. Communicate your changing product story to stakeholders.
ENGAGE WITH US
If you are interested in becoming a TFT Member and embark on the Responsible Product journey, please check the Engage with us section.