Global non-profits Textile Exchange and Leather Working Group team up to launch the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather

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June 14, 2023 12:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time

In a drive for collective action towards creating equitable, transparent, and deforestation-free leather supply chains, the global non-profits Textile Exchange and Leather Working Group have launched the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather. The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather is a cross-sector initiative aimed at galvanizing action from brands to end the deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems linked to leather sourcing. In doing so, it looks to protect wildlife habitat and biodiversity, preserve carbon stocks, and protect human rights.

Cattle rearing is considered to be one of the most significant drivers of deforestation. It is also a major contributor to the conversion of natural ecosystems such as grasslands and savannahs. While beef production is the primary reason for cattle farming, the leather industry has an important opportunity to drive change. Currently, the industry is at varying stages of tackling deforestation and conversion.

Leather is a key material in many of Tapestry’s brands’ iconic styles and designs – it’s undeniably an important part of the company’s business. Because of the importance of leather to Coach, kate spade and Stuart Weitzman, Tapestry is committed to supporting verified deforestation and conversion-free leather supply chains. The Textile Exchange’s Call to Action for Leather initiative advances the critical industry transformation that results in traceable deforestation and conversion-free hides becoming the market standard for the leather industry. Furthermore, this commitment aligns with work already underway at Tapestry, with likeminded brands and leading nonprofits, to support initiatives that minimize leather’s impact on natural resources.

Tapestry is already working towards this by aiming to achieve 95% traceability and mapping of raw materials to ensure a transparent and responsible supply chain by 2025.

Tapestry’s commitment to the Call to Action is complementary to the company’s existing approaches, goals, and workstreams related to responsible leather supply chains. Tapestry is proud to join other brands publicly committing to develop and adopt solutions to ensure that leather is not contributing to deforestation and land conversion. This collective action has the potential to spur industry transformation by aligning brands and the leather industry on a common roadmap for achieving this goal. 

The initiative sets meaningful expectations for brands and provides tools and guidance to support them. The guidance was created in consultation with WWF, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi).

The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather is now open for brands to join. Early signatories making the commitment include adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO), AllSaints, Arezzo&Co, BMW Group, Capri Holdings, H&M Group, Icebug, Kering, Mango, Marks & Spencer, PUMA, Range Revolution, Reformation, Roots, R.M. Williams and Tapestry.

Cattle farming practices cannot be transformed overnight. Collaboration and alignment among the many stakeholders in the leather and beef industries are critical to driving change on the ground and delivering the outcomes of the Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather.