Bangladesh Leather Footwear & Leathergoods International Sourcing Show (BLLISS-2023)

Last week our Managing Director, Deborah, was honoured to be invited to visit Bangladesh to attend the Bangladesh Leather Footwear and Leathergoods International Sourcing Show 2023 (BLLISS).  

Running since 2017, this will be the 4th edition of BLLISS which is fast becoming a must-attend event staple on the calendar for the leather industry.

During the inauguration ceremony, the Honourable Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, committed to the creation of a Leather Development Committee and instructed her Ministers to work towards the correction of the Savar CETP in order that tanneries could meet LWG and Sustainable Leather Foundation standards.  Our Managing Director, Deborah Taylor, was honoured to be included on the guest list of those who had the pleasure of meeting the Honourable Prime Minister at the Ceremony.

On day 2, Deborah participated on a panel discussion moderated by Ibnul Wara, Managing Director of Austan, during which lively conversation was held around the need for a strategy of improvement measures that supports the narrative of leather as “the sustainable material of choice”.  Highlighting that the treatment of effluent is only one of 33 parameters across the ESG requirements of the SLF Transparency Dashboard, the tanneries are urged to work on compliance to international standards on as many of the other 32 areas as possible, in the short term, because if they think that the CETP is the only thing preventing certification at international standard, they will be disappointed. 

During the third day of her trip, Deborah visited one of the tanneries in the Savar district that is starting to work towards compliance.  Deborah commented, “this facility is a good example of a company that wants to improve and understands the business potential that raising standards can bring.  Following this visit, SLF will be sending a preliminary report to the facility to help them to understand what first steps they should take and how SLF can support them in their improvement journey.  Once again, I have enjoyed the optimistic approach of everyone I have connected with again in Bangladesh – the tag line for this year’s BLLISS was Possible. In Bangladesh – and that is exactly the mood of the leather sector there.  It is possible – and now is the time to make it a reality.”