HOW IS LEATHER HARMFUL TO THE ENVIRONMENT?
Leather has been used in clothing and footwear for centuries. As a by-product of meat consumption it is readily available as a natural, durable and versatile material. However, the process of turning hides into leather to be used in an end product is not simple. The hides need extensive preparation and treatment throughout the production process. These are labor-intensive processes and in all stages chemical substances and water are used.
WHERE ARE WE AT THE MOMENT?
As a result of the environmental challenges around leather production, we have made a commitment to sourcing more sustainable leather. In support of that, in 2018, ASICS joined the Leather Working Group (LWG). The LWG is an organization that brings together leather manufacturers and other stakeholders in a single entity, committed to environmentally responsible business practices. Although the LWG's intentions are principally focused on environmental sustainability, they also safeguard ethical business practices within tanneries where possible.
LWG-certified tanneries are assessed based on their environmental performance, with the aim of reducing their impact. The LWG audit assesses tanneries in areas such as water consumption, energy use, and chemical management.
By late 2018, we had already beaten our target to source 80% of the total leather used for ASICS, ASICS TIGER and Onitsuka Tiger branded footwear from LWG medal-rated suppliers by 2020.
ASICS is also using recycled leather; leather made from scrap natural leather and polyester fibers.
WHAT ARE WE STRIVING FOR?
In the coming years we will continue to source from LWG medal-rated leather suppliers and hope to increase that percentage. We are also constantly looking for innovative, ground-breaking technology and partners who can help us reduce the environmental impact of the leather we use in our products.