As this year draws to a close we would like to update you on our plans.
This is a very critical time for the leather industry. For the first time in Leather UK history, we are working towards influencing the consumer in their choice about using leather in this increasingly challenging environment. The appointment of our PR agency in April and the development of our current five-year strategy has given rise to many exciting projects.Please see below our key projects for 2022:
- Consumer survey - In January we will publish the full results of our research. This work is in collaboration with ICLT and Leather Naturally, and will provide us all with evidence-based data on what UK consumers really feel about leather and leather alternatives. This data will be very useful in lots of ways, not least to gain the attention of the mainstream media and push the issues into the open.
- The Leather UK luncheon and AGM will be at Leathersellers Hall on Wednesday 9th February. Dial-in remote access will also be available, and we would like as many of you to attend as possible. This is where we will discuss our strategy in more detail, and will be your opportunity to tell us what you want from us.
- Leather UK swing tag - We plan to create this free of charge for our members and retailers to use at point of sale. This is not an audited certification scheme, but intended purely as a PR and marketing exercise where consumers can scan a QR code and be directed to a landing page on our website, with full information regarding leather and the production of leather goods in the UK. These tags will be produced and available all members, but will depend on the membership indicating their likely uptake of this scheme.
- Leathersellers Fair - We are looking into the possibility of working with the Leathersellers Company to create this event at the Hall in the autumn of 2022. This will be an opportunity for all members to showcase their work to an audience of retailers, buyers and the media.
- Vegan materials resource - We plan to add a comprehensive section on vegan materials to our website. This may seem like an odd decision, but our intention is to educate the consumer about the material composition, performance and sourcing of leather alternatives, whilst also promoting the inimitable qualities of genuine leather.
- National leather skills competition - We are researching the option to host this competition, aimed at the amateur / hobbyist level, and intended to spot new talent for people wishing to improve their skills and open a leather goods business. We have high hopes to get good media coverage for this, but can’t say more at this stage.
- The Art of Tanning -In addition to following up our Art of Leather publication with Issue 2, we plan to create a sister publication (working title "The Art of Tanning"). This will include a video tour of all UK tanneries too.
- For our wool and sheepskin members, we will be adding a comprehensive wool and sheepskin-specific section to our website, hosting a networking event in the South West later in the Spring and if the necessary support is available, hosting a national undergraduate design competition next year.
- Stories of Leather - We are creating a new campaign for our social media channels called Stories of Leather. This is where members of the public can tell us about treasured leather items that mean a lot to them, be they vintage heirlooms or bespoke commissions. This will provide us with lots of content that demonstrates how relevant, creative and integral leather goods are to our lives.
- APLF Dubai 2022 - We are currently organising the exhibition pavilion for UK leather manufacturers and hosting our usual drinks reception in partnership with The Leathersellers Company.
In addition, we continue with our work to lobby for leather, as evidenced by the Leather Manifesto and other ongoing endeavours.
We welcome your feedback on all of the above. Our new strategy requires a more collaborative relationship between you and us, and we look forward to working more closely with you.