Part of the Usaflex (shoes industry and brand in Brazil) mission is to ensure the quality of the leathers used in producing their shoes. Recently they signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability (CSCB) with the objective of encouraging its leather suppliers to participate in and also be recognized by the program, which disseminates best practices in the tanning sector based on the pillars of society, environment, and economy. The signing ceremony took place during the CSCB Sustainability Forum on November 7 with Sergio Bocayuva, CEO of Usaflex.
CSCB certified tannery industries are those dedicated to improving their work on issues such as raw material traceability, animal welfare, reduced water and electricity consumption, quality control, and worker health and safety, among others. With the signing of the agreement, Usaflex assures its customers a movement towards incentivizing that all the leathers used in production come from tanneries that prioritize these points and sustainability as a whole in their production processes.
For Bocayuva, this is an agreement that harmonizes perfectly with the Usaflex values. “Sustainability is a demand of ours and of all our audiences too, which requires a careful, broad look at the work of the entire production chain,” he says. Usaflex is one of the largest leather sector customers in Brazil. Most of its production in women's and men's shoes, in addition to handbags and wallets, is done in leather which stands out with attributes like comfort and aesthetic refinement.
In addition to its 200 franchise stores, Usaflex has products for sale at over 7,400 points in multi-brand chains. In the international market, they're already present in 51 countries, four of which already have 17 brand licensed stores.
Under the agreement signed between CSCB and Usaflex, a process of incentivization has begun for tannery suppliers to integrate to the certification in order to receive the seal (from bronze to diamond) or to improve their level if already certified. In-person meetings with all leather suppliers will be held throughout the semester to provide details on the initiative. In Brazil, in addition to Usaflex, Calçados Bibi and Arezzo & Co also have similar partnership agreements with the CSCB.
How can a tannery get certified?
The tannery should work on improving its processes for 173 indicators based on the norm ABNT NBR 16.296 (Leathers – principles, criteria, and indicators for sustainable production). Compliance, registration, and continuity of each indicator is required and, with this step completed, the tannery may then request an audit from an INMETRO accredited body for certification. There are four levels of the seal:
- Bronze (for those who meet up to 50% of the applicable indicators for each of the four certification dimensions)
- Silver (75%)
- Gold (90%)
- Diamond (100%)
What is the CSCB?
The Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability (CSCB) was built by the chain that integrates the country's leather industry and is supported by the Brazilian Leather Project — an initiative of the CICB and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brazil) to encourage the participation of Brazil's leathers in foreign markets. The CSCB promotes and recognizes the best tannery practices in regard to economic results, reduction of environmental impact, and relationships with employees and communities.
Founded in 1998, Usaflex is headquartered in Igrejinha, RS and produces shoes made predominantly out of leather. They offer women's and men's bags and shoes, standing out for their commitment to including technology, comfort, and fashion in each and every article. With a daily production of up to 25 thousand pairs, they offer approximately 800 different models of shoes, covering more than 80 different product lines for the most diverse consumer profiles. Present in multi-brand stores in all Brazilian states, Usaflex also has franchises that showcase a blend of comfort and fashion.
More information – www.usaflex.com.br