IVN natural leather
The path to vegetable-based tanned leather
Sustainable shoe manufacturing is the future
Consumers wish to purchase more and more sustainable products. Better and better informed by the new media and made aware by press contributions, they also ask specifically for shoes which are environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and free of harmful substances. The International Association of the Natural Textile Industry has developed a quality mark for these conscious customers, enabling them to see at a glance that the accordingly certified leather products provide quality at a high technical and ecological level: “NATURLEDER IVN zertifiziert” [IVN certified NATURAL LEATHER]. Therefore, the NATURAL LEATHER guideline takes into account all the manufacturing levels along the process chain from the raw commodity via production steps such as conservation, tanning, dyeing, colouring or finishing up to selling the finished leather. Here, the focus is on sensible saving of resources, environmental and health protection, social responsibility as well as user-friendliness. Companies which manufacture NATURAL LEATHER certified products are fully in keeping with trends in their philosophy of neither wishing to burden people nor the environment unnecessarily with their products.
The origin of the NATURAL LEATHER specification for shoes
As a Natural Textiles Association which already launched the two-phase quality mark “NATURTEXTIL” [NATURAL TEXTILE] in 2000, the IVN has several years of experience in developing sustainability standards and enjoys high credibility amongst consumers, the trade and manufacturers. In addition to textiles, leather also plays a significant role in the fashion industry, primarily for shoes and accessories. The overlapping area of textiles and leather for social and ecological standards gave reason to develop a standard for sustainable leather manufacturing. After the first companies were certified with NATURAL LEATHER in 2009, there were therefore suppliers of natural leather who manufactured according to demanding guidelines. Now it was time to work out further requirements for manufacturing end products. As an addition to the traditional IVN standards which rule the production of raw materials such as fabrics or leather, the Association completed the first product specification for shoes in 2014. In addition to the raw materials, it also governs the use of shoe components such as interior lining, soles, heels, caps and glue.
Heike Scheuer, Managing Director of IVN Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft e.V.