What makes the Leather Working Group so important?
At Oxford Leathercraft, sustainability is a key concern, which is why we highly regard the Leather Working Group and support its policies.
But what is the LWG, and what’s it for? In this blog, we answer that question and provide more detail on the organisation.
The Leather Working Group
The LWG was set up in 2005 by a group of traders, manufacturers, and trade associations to provide a focus for sustainability concerns within the leather industry.
Like similar bodies in other industries, it seeks to identify environmental best practices and provide guidelines for continual improvement.
It now boasts over 1300 members from across the leather supply chain, including global brands like Adidas, Clarks, Ikea, Nike, Marks & Spencer, New Balance, and Timberland.
How does it help?
The group’s cornerstone is the LWG Leather Manufacturer Audit Protocol, a framework for assessing the environmental performance and practical capabilities of leather manufacturing facilities.
Tanning leather can be a chemical-intensive process, so sharing best practices benefits everyone who produces leather products, and those benefits are passed on to the customer too.
Now on Version 7.0, the audit has grown more and more comprehensive, and is now the standard for any manufacturer of leather goods seeking to minimize their environmental footprint.
There are also a number of other specialised protocols for other groupings in the trade. A good example would be the LWG Trader Audit Protocol, launched in 2015, which aims to improve traceability across the leather supply chain.
Oxford Leathercraft and the LWG
At Oxford Leathercraft, we utilise tanneries that are members of the Leather Working Group and continue to strive to make ensure our products are as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.