It feels like we’ve been through this before. When the National Milk Producers Associaton started to see the rice of plant-based alternatives in the 00s, it started to petition against soy and nut milks calling themselves ‘milk’. Now the leather industry in France is following in their footsteps with an attempt to crack down on the ‘vegan leather’ terminology.
The Council National du Cuir (CNC) is the official representative organization of France’s leather industry. And it’s keen to “protect” the word ‘leather’ and prohibit the widespread use of the term in combination with plant-based alternativess, like mushroom leather, pineapple leather or vegan leather in general. The group is now urging local ministers to demand the European Union Commision draft a directive protecting the work’s use. The minister has complied with this demand and made the EU aware.
“Vegan leather is something that doesn’t exist!” said Jérôme Verdier, president of the French Tannery Federation, to FashionNetwork.com in January 2017 at a French leather industry conference. According the the CNC, the basis of the request is a decree by the French government issued on January 2010, that stated the the word “leather” is to only describe a material derived from animal skin, that is treated to prevent rotting.
We will follow this story and see how it continues on EU level.
(Image by Bolt Threads)