10 curiosities about Brazilian leather


- Brazil has a federal law prohibiting the use of expressions such as “ecological leather” or “synthetic leather”. Law 4.888/65 states that only articles made of animal hide can be denominated “leather”.

- Responsible for designing and producing the leather clothes that were the trademarks of artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Elvis Presley, the brand North Beach Leathers was born out of Brazilian leather. Bill Morgan, the brand´s founder and stylist, made his first pieces after visiting Rio Grande do Sul, where he bought a series of local hides.

- Brazilian leather exports made up 11% of the country´s commercial balance surplus in 2015.

- Since 2000, a project specifically designed to promote Brazilian leather exports has been underway: called Brazilian Leather, it´s carried out in partnership with the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil). Exports of Brazilian hides have grown 263% since the project´s start.

- A Brazilian tannery won the traditional “Tannery of the Year” award.  The company Couro do Norte was graced with the award in Hong Kong in March of 2016 for excellence in corporate practices.

- There is a globally unprecedented certification in Brazil that recognizes tanneries for working in synchronicity with the tripod of sustainability: economy, the environment, and society. It´s the Brazilian Leather Sustainability Certification (CSCB), designed by CICB based on norms of the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) and audited by certifying organizations accredited by Inmetro, the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology.

- Brazil holds the world’s most innovative project connected with leather design: Design na Pele. Combining art and fashion within tanning production, the initiative is conceived of innovative products with leather as the protagonist. Design na Pele has created an exhibition already seen and applauded in various countries, and is part of the Brazilian Leather project, promoted by CICB and Apex-Brasil.

- Over 80 countries buy Brazilian leather every month. Major importers include China/Hong Kong, Italy, the U.S., Vietnam, and Hungary.

- To identify the difference between leather and a synthetic material trying to imitate it, stay attentive: characteristics like humidity absorption, transpiration, and temperature regulation are natural properties of leather. Synthetic material is incapable of reproducing these properties artificially.

- Brazil conducts an exhibition of hides with the trends that will be used by stylists two seasons in advance. Leather Preview is the result of a large survey, and is always shown first-hand in Inspiramais - Design and Innovation Exhibition, whose next edition will be on June 27th and 28th in Sao Paulo at the Pro Magno Events Center.