What drives the relationship between brands and their suppliers today? And what are the prospects for the future? What is the in-depth role of the supply chain in the fashion industry? Where is sustainability in this scope? These and other questions were on the agenda of the first edition of the Brazilian Leather Webinar Series - central theme Fashion and Sustainability, which occurred last Thursday (24).
The debate around these issues took place live online with Yoann Regent (Kering group), Beto Bina (Veja Shoes), Walter Rodrigues (designer / Inspiramais), and Verônica Meurer (Curtume Courovale). The team shared practical views and experiences of their organizations, showing the public how the planning of these brands is and how they work to be a reference in their segments.
The next edition of the Webinar will take place online, for free on October 15th and will address themes related to the furniture industry. More information coming soon. The Brazilian Leather Webinar Series is held by the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB), with the support of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), an environmental conservation organization.
Here are some excerpts from Thursday's webinar.
Yoann Regent, Kering:
“It is crucial to have a robust and sustainable supply chain if we want to continue in the market because, with that, we protect ourselves in crises like the one that is happening now. There is a great tension between the health crisis and the general biodiversity and environmental crisis. People want to ensure that what they buy has no negative impact on the environment. The possibility of leather as a sustainable material can be used as a competitive advantage to defend this product.”
Beto Bina, Vert / Veja:
“We look at the chain as a whole and try to develop projects that reflect and deepen each of these materials, whether with cotton, polyester alternatives, or leather. [...] You cannot have universal truths. Everything can be investigated and improved. We must be humble enough to say that we do not have all the answers (to possible impacts caused by industrial or material activity). We can be frank and say how much can be measured. Communication to the consumer goes from this honesty, from this authenticity of being able to say that we do not have all the answers and to deliver the answers we have in the most honest way possible.”
Walter Rodrigues, designer / Inspiramais
“Brazil is a super young country; we are at the beginning of the aging curve. The movement of this mass of young consumers becomes extremely important for sustainable practices. Fashion has always had an interesting role in accelerating concepts, even before the pandemic. A survey showed that 74% of young people between 18 and 35 years of age intend to have a business. From this moment on, when we are having such a hard experience with COVID, we started to pay much more attention to our comfort, to what we really need, and, in my view, need is the mother of innovation. A large part of these 74% of young people will venture into the wellness industry. And that can be clothing, shoes, furniture ... design is charming!”
Verônica Meurer, Curtume Courovale
“With these tools (certifications), it is possible to adapt the activities of the tannery and seek continuous improvement to meet the demands of the market and young consumers, who are more and more concerned with the environment, animal welfare, and the origin of the raw material. Seeking suppliers’ transparency and compliance with pre-established rules, we will be able to provide customers with leather that is produced using the best environmental, social, and economic practices.”