At the Sustainable Leather Foundation chemicals are considered under all three domains of ESG sustainability. The planet and people are the most affected by irresponsible chemistry, but the wastage and management of chemistry is also important.
Our industry relies on the safe use of a number of chemicals in order to produce leather that consumers can wear, use, sit on or be protected by without harm. Research, development and innovation is a constant high priority function within chemical companies who are seeking new solutions, replacements for chemicals that may cause harm, technologies that reduce the amount of chemicals used and more efficient ways of treating excess chemistry that remains in the process effluent.
The Foundation works collaboratively with chemical suppliers, health and safety organisations, other certification bodies, value chain facilities, and consumers to ensure that due diligence is being done regarding chemistry.
A collaborative approach to creating a Sustainability Agenda is the priority. Together with our value chain partners, the Foundation is working to spearhead chemical innovation and good practice.
Also referred to as “Forever Chemicals” PFAS (per and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) are a group of synthetic chemicals that do not easily degrade, hence the term.
Legislation is now coming into force to ban the use of this chemical class from 2027 and SLF is encouraging the leather industry to begin to be recognised for the removal of PFAS from leather production right now. We know that there are viable and cost effective alternatives to PFAS for our industry so here we have the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to more environmentally friendly and sustainable chemistry – before we are put into the “only stopped using them because we were forced to” position.
Let’s collectively drive forward the elimination of these chemicals from our supply chains now.
We invite all stakeholders, but especially our chemical company colleagues to join our Responsible Chemistry Charter and Pledge!
We Live In a Chemical Universe
All matter (material) in the universe is made from chemicals, natural and other, we cannot escape them. A term often used is “chemical-free” which should really read “harmful chemical-free”, because the safe chemical ingredients in food, like protein should clearly not be removed. Terminology difficulties, like the one just mentioned, and trying to get to the bottom of what level of chemical makes something harmful is the core of what SLF aims to achieve with its partners.
Sign up to the Responsible Chemistry Charter
More information coming soon…
SLF Good Practice Seals
We will shortly be publishing key criteria for specific topics that will reward our Partners with an “Accountability Seal”.
This recognition will augment the Transparency Dashboard information that is already published.
Want to know more?