Leather industry membership not-for-profits Leather Naturally (LN) and Leather Working Group (LWG) have agreed to closer working practices through reciprocal membership.

The reciprocal membership agreement between Leather Naturally and Leather Working Group, will lead to both industry non-profits working more collaboratively in the future, the organisations say.

They add one of the more significant joint-focus areas is targeting consumers with correct facts and figures about leather, which will, they say, help consumers to overcome certain misconceptions about leather, and also more clearly define what sustainable leather is and where it can be sourced from, such as from an LWG certified tannery.

LWG exists to drive improvement across the global leather supply chain, minimising the environmental impact of leather production as well as inspire, educate, and challenge its member companies.

Christina Trautmann, head of LWG, says: “This reciprocal membership agreement signifies the solidification of our collaboration with Leather Naturally. Our aligned focus is to provide consumers with the facts about sustainable leather and to better support brands with their communications about leather sourced from LWG supply chains.” 

LN, meanwhile, is dedicated to the promotion of leather and the provision of education on leather as a material. Through its activities, studies, and global resource centre, it says it promotes the use of globally manufactured sustainable leather and seeks to inspire and inform designers, creators, and consumers about its beauty, quality, and versatility.

Egbert Dikkers, chair of the Leather Naturally management board, adds: “We look forward to collaborating in educating about leather and communicating the role leather plays in a circular society where nothing is wasted, and everything can be re-used.” 

Last month, Leather Naturally, Leather UK, and the University of Northampton (ICLT) published a consumer research report ‘Leather and the Consumer’ that examines the opinions and buying habits of 2,000 UK consumers for leather and leather alternative products.

With a network of brand and retail members, LWG intends to leverage industry and consumer research such as this, to provide more concrete support for product and brand-level claims, as well as collaborate with LN on direct communications to consumers. In this, way, both LN and LWG utilise their combined resources and can reach the entire leather value chain.

Meanwhile, LWG recently announced the launch of what it calls the largest lifecycle assessment (LCA) for the leather industry, to investigate the environmental impact of leather made in LWG-certified facilities.