Since 2008, Andreas Kindermann has been chief executive of Wollsdorf Leather, a specialist producer of leather for steering-wheels, furniture upholstery and aircraft interiors, with its headquarters in Austria. He steered the company back to growth following the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, opened sewing and cutting plants in China and Croatia, established or redeveloped sales offices in Hong Kong, Uruguay and the US, and, in 2019, established a new tannery and leather cutting facility in Mexico. He led Wollsdorf to victory in the Global Tannery of the Year award in 2014. He was elected president of COTANCE, the leather industry’s main representative body in the European Union, in 2018.
On launching a new sustainability initiative in June 2020, Scottish Leather Group (SLG) made public six commitments that it says will help it establish a “a zero-impact, sustainable manufacturing platform for leather”.
Tanning group PrimeAsia has leather manufacturing facilities in Huangjiang in China and in Ba Ria-Vung Tau in Vietnam. These tanneries have a combined production capacity of around 11 million square-feet of finished lifestyle and athletic leather per year, which the group supplies to dozens of global footwear brands. In this interview, chief executive, Jon Clark, offers some reflections on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on PrimeAsia’s operations and on the wider leather industry.
In late 2019, the president of Portugal’s main leather industry body, APIC, Nuno Carvalho, published an article in the main national newspaper strenuously defending the industry against unfair criticism over environmental standards at its main production centre, Alcanena. He felt the days of simply waiting for troubles to pass over had to come to an end. Mr Carvalho discusses the circumstances that led to this action in this, the second in our series of Leather Leaders discussions.
In this second edition of World Leather’s new podcast series, the team examines in depth the announcement from Tuscan exotic leather manufacturer A&A that it will launch “a tanning system with zero environmental impact” within a year. Taking part are the magazine’s technical editor, Mat Abbott, and associate editor, Shari Shallard, talking to editor, Stephen Tierney.