25/08/2020

Labelling leather legislation

As you will be aware, Leather UK has been lobbying in the UK and Europe for statutory protection for the term leather.

Increasingly, leather is used in oxymoronic descriptions of materials that do not in any way meet the accepted definition of leather. These materials usurp the reputation and status of leather, while deriding the genuine article. This dilutes the value of leather and confuses consumers. A statutory definition of the term leather would stop this abuse and protect our product.

Recently, the Italian association, UNIC, successfully lobbied for an Italian law which proscribes the use of the term leather. This new law prohibits the use of the leather in oxymoronic descriptions, such as ‘vegan leather’. However, there is little appetite in the EU or the UK, for new regulation. It is essential that we gather political support, if we are to achieve legislation similar to that made in Italy. You can with this in two ways:

  • Write to your local MP, asking for their support for a new regulation to protect leather. We have drafted a template letter here Leather (protection of the name) version and draft, outlining the issues and a proposal for such a regulation. This can be modified as you see fit but should be sent on your company headed paper;
  • Catalogue as many examples of mislabelling as possible and share them with Leather UK. Specific examples of consumers being misled by inaccurate descriptions would be particularly helpful.

Leather is under increasing pressure. As such, it is more important than ever that we work hard to protect its identity.

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