Two out of three consumers are still convinced that animals must be killed to use their skin. By the discouriging results of a survey involving 1,200 people in four countries (Italy, Germany, France and the United States), at the beginning of the year a great communication campaign focused on the sustainability of the skin will start at the initiative of UNIC – Italian Tanneries. The presentation took place during the assembly of Italian tanners on December 3 in Milan where a video lasting 45 seconds (and one reduced lasting 7.5’’) and some sample photos were anticipated. The concept of the campaign – entitled “Don’t say Greenwashing” and developed by the international agency Spring Studios – focuses on considering leather as a sustainable material, combining all the adjectives of virtuous products: green, organic, bio, recyclable, plastic free. To counter the fake news on the skin even more effectively, some slogans have also been coined to accompany the images, for example “the truth is that if it is made of leather it is plastic free” and also “the truth is that your jacket/belt/bag did not kill anyone”. «We wanted this campaign as there is too much ignorance about our product, which instead is natural, circular and 100% sustainable», said Gianni Russo, president of Unic. The campaign will be carried out through the distribution of photos and videos mainly by means of social networks, but it will also include adevertising posters and billboards in the big fashion cities during important events, primarily Fashion Weeks. “We will be very active in cities like London, Copenhagen and Helsinki, when organisations hostile to leather usually launch their strongest attacks”, explained Fulvia Bacchi, general manager of Unic and CEO of Lineapelle.
The UNIC assembly – held in Europe’s highest meeting room, on the 47th floor of the Allianz tower in the futuristic CityLife district – was an opportunity to provide some data on the health of the Italian tanning sector that ends a rather difficult 2019 with a decrease in production value of 7.8% and of 12.5% in volume. Exports were also negative: -8.8%. “But the last quarter of the year gave better results that we hope will lead to a recovery in 2020”, commented president Russo, who also noted the UNIC’S good state of health, which saw an increase in members from 148 in 2016 to 172 in 2019 thanks to the entry of new and important tanning groups.
For that reason also the association of tanners renewed and expanded the board which is increased from 18 to 27 members, while it had to postpone to the next year the nomination of the new president due to waiver (for personal reasons) of the candidate that had previously been identified (Piero Rosati).
On the occasion of the assembly, UNIC also presented the 2019 Sustainability Report which tells the 12 objectives of the Italian leather that follows now the ambitious guidelines of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN to promote human well-being and protect the environment.
Finally, always in Milan, UNIC rewarded the 23 Italian tanneries that obtained the Certification of Sustainability which requires a 360° commitment not only in reducing the environmental impact but also in economic, social and ethical terms.