Sustainability – LVMH Sets Out Leather Policy

Luxury group LVMH has outlined its policies towards leather in a review of its sustainability achievements for 2016 – including increasing use of ‘reconstituted leather’.

The French group has said 70% of the tanneries it sources from will be Leather Working Group certified by 2020, aiming for 100% by 2025.

While it praises the work of Spanish tanners in the Cordero Entrefino region, suppliers to Loewe, for their “incomparably supple and soft leathers”, it also touts using leather offcuts to “reduce waste”. “For the past year, Louis Vuitton has been using salpa, a type of reconstituted leather, to produce some of the models for its leathergoods products, which enables it to avoid using real leather,” it said.

After auditing its three main tanneries in 2016, Loewe will extend the audits to its top five tanneries this year, the group added.

LVMH took part in drafting the new version of the Animal Sourcing Principles in 2016. Put together by the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) network, the document sets out general principles of animal wellbeing in supply chains and is part of “a long-term commitment to improve and monitor breeding practices”.

“Exotic leathers, including crocodile leathers, are also the subject of particular attention,” said the company, which owns an exotic leather tannery and several crocodile farms. “LVMH has determined a best-practice matrix, working with recognised independent experts, which is used as a benchmark during the audits conducted at the farms.”

The group also says it has made progress in terms of eliminating chemical substances that are not compliant with the LVMH restricted substance list, “by specifically targeting hexavalent chromium in its leathers”.