CUOIO DI TOSCANA LAUNCHES ITS SUSTAINABILITY STATEMENT
The Consortium’s green code of conduct, committing the entire Italian supply chain for sole leather goods to regenerative natural solutions and towards circularity for a zero-waste model.
The ten commandments. Cuoio di Toscana’s statement is aimed at establishing the ethical and qualitative standards of the Consortium, taking on the role of guarantor to the international brands which use its products, as well as to end consumers.
“Sustainability is not a story, it’s a commitment. The Cuoio di Toscana Consortium has always been committed to ensuring it is environmentally friendly. Sustainability is in the vegetable-tanned sole leather industry’s DNA, a virtuous example of the circular economy and a traditional art that has remained unchanged through the centuries”, declares Antonio Quirici, the Chairman of the Consortium.
A practical example of an environmentally friendly circular economy, the Consortium is a leader in the production of sole leather which, with a 98% share of the Italian market and over 80% of the European market, actually represents the entire supply chain for leather products of this type.
The “Sustainability Statement” makes official and defines the best practices in relation to sustainability for Consortium members, primarily remembering that leather is a 100% renewable, recoverable, and natural resource. Indeed, the Consortium’s seven associate companies transform waste from the food industry that would otherwise be intended for disposal into quality goods which symbolise the excellence of the Made in high craftsmanship.
No animal is slaughtered for the sole purpose using its hide. Indeed, animal welfare and traceability are Cuoio di Toscana’s priorities, with the requirement that the hide originates from non-intensive livestock and cruelty-free slaughtering methods among its essential requisites.
Concerning the vegetable-tanning process, the “Sustainability Statement” underlines the importance and qualitative significance of slow production, through a deep-rooted, centuries-old process which is based on the use of organic materials such as tannins, chestnut plant, mimosa, and quebracho extracts, guaranteeing a metal-free production process to protect the health of its customers, ensuring the quality of manufacturing standards, and the environment. Processing in this way ensure that the hide is malleable, stronger, and also guarantees that the product is safe when in contact with the wearer’s skin
The Italian tanning industry operates a circular model which stipulates that the organic waste produced from the early phases of production onwards is recovered, which is essential since it removes protein and amino acid-rich organic materials from the waste cycle that can still be used in the food, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutics industries. Natural fertilisers and bio stimulants developed from tanning waste contribute to reducing the environmental impact resulting from cultivation because, on the one hand, they reduce the use of agro pharmaceuticals and chemical fertilisers, and on the other, they make the land more fertile and improve the quality of the harvest. Also, in terms of construction, waste originating from leather processing can be used as additives and retardants, and again as a filler in construction and road surfaces.
Still on the subject of the reuse of resources, wastewater from the industrial process is conveyed to centralised purifiers in Tuscany for purification.
Additionally, tanneries have implemented continuous energy-saving actions to eliminate waste and reduce consumption. Energy sources for their heating requirements comes from natural gas and other fossil fuels, whereas the use of renewable energies is constantly increasing.
More than just the product: Cuoio di Toscana’s Sustainability Statement places the accent on the relationship between sustainability, research, new technologies, and the human factor. All of the companies in the Consortium are also required to commit to sustaining values of social ethics, as well as to respecting the rights and protecting their workers.
“We wanted to define who we are – the Chairman Antonio Quirici explains – The Consortium’s associated tanneries have always invested in sustainable development, and national and international regulations for the sector in relation to animal wellbeing in our suppliers’ countries, and product traceability have always been rigorously applied though this commitment”
On the topic of traceability, the seven tanneries have invested in a traceability kit intended for clients and partners: a Cuoio di Toscana branded protective film to be applied to their products and those of the Consortium. An element capable of authenticating the high quality of the raw materials and protecting the leather during the final phases of production.