On average companies who produce furniture, shoes or clothing accessories (e.g. belts or wallets) only leverage 50% to 70% of leather. The remaining 30% to 50% is discarded as residual ‘waste’. For the average Dutch company producing leather products this amounts to roughly 60.000 kg per year. Typically, residual ‘waste’ for small leather products (e.g. wallet) varies in size from 1 to 15 cm, while for larger products (e.g. furniture) pieces up to ~40-50 cm can be disposed as ‘waste’. To this date, no feasible and scalable solution has been developed to leverage this residual leather ‘waste’ in a circular fashion. Currently, less than 500 kg (out of 60.000 kg) is processed by small art boutiques.
At increasing pace, producers of leather products have increasing stock levels of residual hides due to changing fashion trends, high MOQ, or batches dispraised as unfit for use. In parallel to initiatives to re-use residual leather ‘waste’ cuttings, initiatives should be established to re-use residual hides. Only by combining by the two types of initiatives full circularity can be achieved within the leather value chain.
CirQleer, founded in The Netherlands, serves the industry, organizations, institutes and consumers in Europe.
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