General director of the UNIC-Lineapelle group
From October 4 to 6, Lineapelle, the most important international exhibition dedicated to the leather sector, returns to the Milano-Rho Exhibition Centre .
Do you have any predictions about the trade fair?
Lineapelle confirms the potential and vitality of the leather sector, with increasing numbers and a high level of internationality. 108 countries will be present, between exhibitors and visitors.
The date was postponed compared to previous editions to meet the current economic situation.
In September, before the opening of our exhibition, we will be present at the Milan Fashion Week events, financed by Mise and Ice, in particular with an installation of great visual impact near Via Montenapoleone curated by the architect Davide Rampello.
The Fall/Winter 18/19 trends will surprise us. New combinations and new chromatic harmonies: neutral tones will be inflected with colour, dark tones, and winter white.
Colours and materials will cross timeless narratives and courageous research.
All this will be present as usual in the Trend Area of Pav. 13.
Lineapelle is a trade fair system that promotes Italian excellence worldwide. Is the trend moving towards an increased internationalisation of the trade fair system?
The activity in support of export is one of the jewels in our crown, the one with which we can bring together the greatest number of companies.
In addition to the foreign Lineapelle London and New York trade fairs, with collective participations at the three trade fairs in Tokyo, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, we carry out technical-stylistic seminars in Paris and Shanghai and we receive numerous international delegations at the Milan location. Lineapelle London in July grew by 20%, as did Lineapelle New York.
Let’s talk numbers
The February 2017 edition of Lineapelle closed with over 21,800 visitors (+3% compared to the September 2016 edition) from 106 countries with a significant increase in attendance from Germany, China and Russia. The number of exhibitors did well with 1,198 (+4% compared to a year ago), from 44 countries. After an uncertain 2016, the tanning sector appears to open up in the sign of a veiled recovery in 2017: the first quarter data reported +6% in volume.
Is export still a driving factor in the leather sector?
Exports in 2016 accounted for 76% of our turnover, with 114 destination countries and a value of 3.8 billion euros. 51% targets Europe, 25% Asia, 8% the NAFTA area, and 7% the Russian area.
Countries like the USA, Vietnam (an offshoring phenomenon) and France have grown while China has decreased.
UNIC has solicited the updating of the law that safeguards the leather sector. How can imitations be combated?
The principles of recovery, recycling and reuse of the circular economy are noble concepts that we have always applied, yet we are often looked at with distrust. In addition to eco-friendly leather, there is also eco-friendly suede, eco-friendly pony, alter nappa, wine leather, but in order to promote all these “alternative” leathers, they need to be confronted with real leather, let’s say they exploit it.
UNIC proceeds legally against these abuses.
To date we have 60 injunctions on the table, but we are convinced that our best weapon remains education through meetings and training courses.
We safeguard the “real leather” brands in collaboration with the Italian Finance Police and the Customs Agency that, for 10 years, have been working with a customs surveillance agreement. At the European level, we expect a regulation on the labelling of leather goods.
What instruments are available to tanneries to virtuously manage every aspect of sustainability?
All our commitment to sustainability is documented in the Report, whose 15th edition was presented at the Assembly last June.
The sustainability of the Italian tanning industry is the concrete and common denominator of all its productive, commercial and creative activities.
These are the key figures: cost sustainability equal to 4.4% of average production value, improvement of average water consumption (-20% since 2003) and energy (-32%), increased waste recovery (76%), further decrease in the frequency index and severity of accidents (more than halved between 2016 and 2015).