Training and sustainability: the hot topics of the States General of Italian Leather Goods 2023
The world of leather goods once again gathered to return the picture of a unique supply chain in the world. In the splendid setting of the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the fourth edition of the Stati Generali della Pelletteria Italiana was held, an event organized by Assopellettieri, the association of Italian leather goods companies, in collaboration with The European House - Ambrosetti and the City of Florence. Moderated by Sebastiano Barisoni, deputy executive director of Radio24, leading figures from Italy's economic, political and industrial worlds took the floor.
Of the importance of bringing forward an event dedicated to the specificities of the sector, we spoke with Claudia Sequi, president of Assopellettieri: "The goal of the States General is to turn the spotlight on the challenges facing the leather goods sector. One of the main ones is training, where we need to change the narrative of manual labor, making it attractive to young people and families. A topic closely related to that of generational turnover, since 15-20 thousand workers are expected to be needed in the next five years. Up to sustainability, social, environmental and economic, and internationalization."
Themes to be carried forward within a sector that is experiencing a complex phase: "after a positive start to the year, with the first half of the year that marked a +9.5% (data from Centro Studi Confindustria Moda)," Sequi goes on to explain, "in the second fraction of the year we witnessed a slowdown, which seems to characterize the coming months as well. In fact, for the second part of the year, entrepreneurs' expectations converge toward a further downsizing of growth rates. "The international variables influencing the sector's performance that need to be addressed are not a few," Sequi explained, "including inflationary dynamics never experienced in recent years and a growth in international conflicts. Outlining the geopolitical scenario in which companies find themselves operating was Federico Rampini, columnist for Corriere della Sera.
Foreign sales, which have always been the driving force behind the sector's development, also played a key role in the results of the first half of the year. According to data released by Assopellettieri, edited by the Study Center of Confindustria Moda, in the first 6 months Italian exports of leather goods stood at 5.85 billion euros, an increase of +7.3 percent on January-June 2022 (400 million euros more) but easing in the April-June quarter (+2.2 percent). "Italy is the reference point for those who want to make luxury products," concluded Claudia Sequi, "and this is something we must keep in mind when planning for the future".
Also confirming the weight of Italian leather goods worldwide was the strategic sector study conducted in collaboration with The European House - Ambrosetti: a system that is worth 8% of the entire fashion sector worldwide and more than 20% of the luxury segment alone. During the morning, awards were also presented to some of the leading players in the industry: Tripel Due Srl was awarded the Independent leather goods company with the best EBITDA Margin on 2022 data, while DiMar Group Spa received the award as the Independent leather goods company with the highest absolute growth in the number of employees in 2022. The Craftsman of the Year 2023 award went to Boldrini Selleria Srl, and finally, the award for Business Excellence in Integrated Procurement Management 2023 went to Pelletterie Bianchi & Nardi Spa.