While fur may be on the decline, with many fashion houses swearing off the material altogether, leather products are on the rise.
Assopellettieri, Italy’s organisation of leather goods manufacturers, has released a preliminary report detailing the sectors current standing. According to their data, the sector is continuing to rise with their exports up 8.6 percent compared to the year previous. Increase in demand has also been noted, in particular, the U.S. demonstrated a 5.7 percent increase in the first 10 months of 2018, while South Korea recorded a 19.3 percent rise.
Italy’s leather goods sector is focused on bringing sustainability into their practices, as it is the clear way forward given the industry's current climate. The president of Assopellettieri, Riccardo Braccialini, commented on the new direction of their organisation. “Everybody is talking about sustainability nowadays. It’s kind of banal. Italian and European companies have a significant advantage on the topic because of the country’s legislation. No extra-European competitor can leverage a sustainability benchmark like ours.”
Smaller brands have not been as fortunate as the sectors more renown players, however, Braccialini expressed his confidence in the market, and its ability to reinvent itself. “We have gone through tough periods in the past, and still the leather-goods business has been growing year-over-year thanks to its unparalleled quality.”