Responsible Leather

Advancing responsibility and continuous improvement in the global leather value chain.

Author: Larysa Valachko

Join us for the Leather Learning Webinar Series

The Leather Learning Series is a three-part series to educate brands and retailers on the many aspects of leather, its production, and where it comes from.

Part One, April 14, 2020– The Inherent Sustainability of Leather focused on describing the fundamentals of leather – its value as a material, its natural sustainability, and a discussion on its role in a circular economy.  We would like to thank the webinar speakers and participants for an engaging and well attended event.


  • Anne Gillespie, Director of Impact Acceleration – Textile Exchange
  • Stephen Sothmann, President – Leather & Hide Council of America
  • Kerry Senior, Director – Leather UK
  • Egbert Dikkers, Chair – Leather Naturally

View The Recording Here

Access The Presentation Here

Access The Q&A Here

Join us for Part Two: Cattle Farming and Part Three: Leather Production.  Check our website regularly for the webinar dates and registration links.


Message from Anne Gillespie, Director of Impact Acceleration

Message from Anne Gillespie, Director of Impact Acceleration

Hello Responsible Leather Stakeholders,

Did you know there are over 500 of you who have officially opted in for Responsible Leather communications?  That speaks to the relevance of the work we are doing.  And now that we are definitely into the new year, I wanted to take a moment to look at where we are at and think about how to move forward.

There are literally thousands of public corporate sustainability goals that have set 2020 targets, yet we all know that few of them are being achieved and the world is feeling the effects.  Rather than dwell on the negative outcomes that we are experiencing, I want to urge everyone to feel motivated to take action. If you need to move your targets out another five or ten years, do it, but make them even more ambitious and get acting now.  In 2030 our kids will be thankful for the actions we did take and angry about the ones we didn’t.

I see the work on Responsible Leather being a significant opportunity for everyone to drive positive change. Our team is highly motivated to complete the Responsible Leather program and the Impact Credits in the first quarter of this year. Then we will move to piloting, revision, and hope to be celebrating the final release with all of you at our annual conference in Ireland the first week of November.

We need your help to do this!  This is your opportunity to Make A Difference, and set this new decade on the right track. We will be holding our next Responsible Leather International Working Group call on February 4, and will have some exciting progress to share with you then.  Until then, I am urging you to complete one or more of the action challenges we have set out:

ACTION #1: Pledge to Fund the Responsible Leather work for 2020 

ACTION #2: Become a voting member of the Responsible Leather International Working Group (RL IWG)

ACTION #3: RL IWG Feedback survey 

ACTION #4: Impact Credit Market Potential survey 

More Opportunities to Participate

Social Welfare

In addition to the M.A.D. Challenge, Nicole Lambert is starting the work on defining the social welfare expectations for Responsible Leather production.  If you are interested in being on Scope Committee calls to help figure this out, please contact her directly:


As we work towards completing the first draft for Responsible Leather and Impact Credits, we are looking for brands that would be willing to pilot the credit trading for animal welfare and/or deforestation-conversion-free, as well as the leather production benchmark.  Please contact any of us if you would be willing.

We can only do this together, so please take a few minutes and refresh your engagement with us.  I promise it will be worthwhile!

Thanks for your ongoing support,

Anne Gillespie | Director of Impact Acceleration


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