Stahl partners up with the Igualada Leather Cluster Barcelona in an event about water management in leather production

Crystal Clear. Under this theme, leather experts and decision makers of consumer brands gathered in Igualada on November 9 2017 to talk about water management. Stahl joined forces with the Igualada Leather Cluster Barcelona to show that partnership is pivotal in achieving a more transparent supply chain. About 100 people joined the event in Igualada, near Barcelona. The attendees were impressed by the clear presentations that provided practical insights in optimizing water usage in leather production without compromising on leather quality.

“Being a leader in specialty chemicals for processing leather, we believe that the road to sustainability starts with transparency,” Michael Costello, Director of Sustainability at Stahl, says. “This was the primary reason to host ReVeal last year. Due to the success of that event, we initiated a second transparency-focused event with the theme Crystal Clear. As its name suggests, the event focused on water management in leather production. It was inspiring to come together with key players in the leather and water management industry. We shared our thoughts and concerns and elaborated on new ways to continue towards a transparent industry. We believe that partnership and determination are key for achieving this and it’s great to see that our belief is being endorsed by key stakeholders in the supply chain. This opens up a host of future possibilities,” he continued.

The event started at Adoberia Bella, the headquarters in Igualada at the Catalonia Leather Cluster, with a word of welcome by Jordi Vidal Valls, Cluster Manager of the Catalonia Leather Cluster. Frederico Brugnoli, CEO of Spin360 being one of the key players in product environmental assessment, continued with an update about the process of the development of a full transparency model for the leather industry, started at the ReVeal event last year. Charlie Walker of Global Water Intelligence (GWI) emphasized the challenges of water management like scarcity and access to water and underlined that the future of water is smart and circular. Frank Michel of the ZDHC foundation talked about the ZDHC Roadmap-to-Zero Programme, which was introduced just a year ago to coordinate industry efforts and eliminate hazardous chemicals. During the subsequent panel discussion led by Michael Costello, the panelists were invited to participate and share their vision on water management in leather production.

After lunch, theory was turned to practice. Visits to the University of Igualada and the new water treatment facility were followed up with a visit to the local Leather Museum in Igualada, where attendees were informed about the rich history of the development of leather production and use. The event ended with drinks and dinner at the Museum. During the day, it became perfectly clear that consumer brands, designers, water management experts and the industry are all on the same page: to reduce the environmental footprint of the leather supply chain, the whole process should become more transparent.

The road to transparency
Crystal Clear is the theme of Stahl’s second transparency event. Last year the company organized ReVeal, focused on the creation of high-quality leather, made with respect for people, animals, and the environment. For this initiative, which took place in the Netherlands, Stahl and partners revealed the path of all production process stages from calf to designer bag.

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