APLF Leather & Materials+, quality prevails while the market seeks to find a balanceGood results for the Hong Kong fair despite the hard work of the industry. The prospects for the next edition are even better, for which many exhibitors have already confirmed their participation.
In a market suffering from an oversupply of raw leather accompanied by a weakening in the demand for leather (largely due to the abuse of synthetic uppers for highly popular sneakers) the APLF Leather & Materials+ trade fair held on 14 - 16 March 2018, ended on a positive note.
APLF Director, Perrine Ardouin described it as follows: “We are very pleased with what happened in the leather pavilion. Excellent attendance and, above all, excellent quality of visitors who negotiated with exhibitors. One of the hottest issues that gained the most interest was sustainability. We also verified a good response to the presence of some machines dedicated to the world of leather and we can confirm that their presence is ensured for the future”.
As usual, the fair took place in Hong Kong and occupied more than 25 thousand square meters of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, hosting 25 collectives from 21 different countries, and 94 new exhibitors, including 5 new companies from Sudan, who entered the international scene for the first time.
Among the countries best represented was Italy with 159 exhibitors, followed by China (148) India (65) and Brazil (43).
According to APLF Director, Michael Duck, much of the success of the event is due to moving the dates “away from the Easter holidays (which will continue in the future) allowing flights and hotels to be found more easily and at more competitive prices”.
And if leather shows some signs of suffering, the world economy seems to send out positive vibes:
World GDP rose by 3.7% in 2017 and should remain positive this year as well - underlined Michael Duck - and according to the Bain & Co report, sales of luxury goods in China should remain at the good results achieved last year, i.e. +20%. The Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.5%, while, even looking to the West, the data seems to be improving: consumer confidence in the USA and Europe seems to be growing and the GDP of the Old Continent has proved to be the best in the last decade. Inflation and interest rates in industrialized countries remain low, encouraging consumption. The picture, therefore, seems to be getting better.
What is expected for the next APLF Leather & Materials+ (from 13 to 15 March 2019)? “Excellent results, especially in terms of bookings – which for the first time opened during the fair and there may soon not be any places available,” concluded Perrine Ardouin.
An interesting variety of proposals were presented during APLF, including the winners of the APLF Awards.
Smart Upcycling of Waste Leather - Tannerie Pechdo (France)
Cow bellies which are usually gone to waste are recycled and tanned into high-quality leather for clothing and gloves.
Techno-Craft Award - Kinuya (Japan)
The tradition of vegetable-tanned "Tokushima Blue Leather”, which has a 600-year-old tradition, is recovered and implemented with care.
Best Fashion Leather Line - AXA Leather Group (India)
A wide range of leather perfect for a variety of different fashion applications. Special mention must go to the “fabric” line of coloured and printed leather.
Best New Leather - Futura Leathers (Italy)
An interesting and bold line of leather for upholstery where prints and patterns are printed onto full cow skins by serigraphy and then heat-shrunk to create a brocade-like effect.