Bringing sustainable Ethiopian leather to European consumers

Bringing sustainable Ethiopian leather to European consumers

While Ethiopia is famous for its cattle and fine leather, improvements can be made when it comes to sustainable leather-making. That’s why Stahl and Dutch NGOs Solidaridad and CSR Netherlands started the Green Tanning Initiative to promote environmentally friendly leather-making and create sustainable employment in the Ethiopian leather industry.

New opportunities for sustainable leather-making

Solidaridad, CSR Netherlands and Stahl believe that building relations with Ethiopian tanners and farmers will enable the country to play a greater role as a supplier of sustainable leather and leather goods to the European market.

The three-year Green Tanning Initiative is co-sponsored by the European Union’s ‘SWITCH Africa Green’ fund,with the mission of promoting sustainable production and consumption in Africa.

Improving Ethiopian tanneries and leather factories

As part of necessary improvements in the Ethiopian leather industry, the program seeks to collaborate with local abattoirs, tanneries, factories and trade missions on different sustainable consumption and production practices. These include improving the system for selecting hides, developing tanning methods that use less, or even no, chrome, salt, water and energy, improving waste treatment and improving working conditions throughout leather value chain.

Actions planned under the program include training and coaching selected staff and matchmaking with European buyers. The initiative is currently working with five European companies that are either interested in doing business with Ethiopian leather makers or are already doing so.Stahl’s contribution involves providing training in good practices and technologies that improve the environmental footprint. We do this via our Stahl Campus® modules.

Ethiopia as a global leader in environmentally friendly leather products

The Green Tanning Initiative’s mission to promote sustainable leather production and consumption in Africa closely aligns with the Ethiopian government’s strategy to stimulate the growth and competitiveness of the country’s leather industry. The ultimate goal is to make Ethiopia a global leader in the manufacturing and trading of environmentally friendly and high-quality leather products.