History

In 2017, Textile Exchange began an initiative to focus on leather in response to demand from brands to address the impacts of the full leather value chain. Although there are already many existing standards and programs that address leather, we have discovered there is still a need to bring together stakeholders and interested parties from across the industry to develop a common framework. This will allow brands and retailers to send consistent and clear messages about their expectations to the value chain, as well as give members of the value chain a means to meet the needs of the brands and benchmark their own practices.

To make this happen, Textile Exchange has pulled together over 350 stakeholders from all parts of the industry, including brands, farmers, and suppliers, as well as NGOs, international organizations and special interest groups. We have now established the Responsible Leather Round Table (RLRT), a platform where everyone can participate, share information and drive the development of an assessment tool for the leather industry.

The Responsible Leather Assessment (RLA) tool, which will be developed through an International Working Group (IWG), will establish a benchmark of agreed-upon best practices. It will be a framework to identify and give visibility to existing standards, programs and tools that brands can use for their sourcing. Most importantly, it will give everyone the ability to clearly and effectively communicate about their actions.

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Mission

Advance responsibility and continuous improvement in the global leather value chain through leadership, science, and inclusive multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration.

Vision

We envision a world in which all aspects of the leather value chain are environmentally and socially responsible, economically viable, and promote animal welfare.

Goals

  1. Be a platform for stakeholders in the leather industry to engage with each other, share information, and identify common challenges and opportunities.
  2. Be a structure for interacting with other organizations and government bodies.
  3. Be a forum to agree on priority issues and take action to advance our mission and vision.