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Mike Redwood is the spokesperson for the LeatherNaturally! programme being developed by the world's top tanneries to promote leather as a high quality sustainable material. He is the Visiting Professor for Leather at the University of Northampton and is a Teaching Fellow in Marketing at Bath University. Originally a leather chemist he has spent his career in tanneries, footwear and sports companies moving through technical and general management to eventually focus on marketing and innovation. He has held senior positions in companies such ADOC, Pittards, FootJoy and ECCO working in Italy, The Netherlands and Latin America before returning to his home in the UK.
Back in the 1990s after the Soviet Union had broken up and China was well on the way with the “reform and opening up” of its economy begun under Deng Xiaoping there was, in many parts of the world, a quiet assumption that what is loosely defined as “western” capitalism and democracy was going to soon predominate around the world.
As exhibitors and visitors left the platform heading to the airport at the end of the 38th APLF show there were rather too many non leather sneakers on display.
Odd times for the leather industry; an odd look to the leather halls. Another busy day but with the levels of activity varying from area to area. Sometimes corridors like the long rows of Pakistan stands were full.
Hopefully all delegates arrived in good quality footwear with sound soles, leather preferred, as the first day of the 34th edition of APLF got off to quite a fast and furious start.
New materials will continue to be needed alongside leather, and the industry fully accepts that life will become more competitive. We believe that all materials should be objectively evaluated and presented with full transparency and The Economist is in danger of damaging our important industry by describing it in the negative terms it uses in its recent piece, 'Growing Leather in Factories' and Leather Naturally has therefore responded.
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