Innovating for Extremes

As I get back on my feet after my accident I am slowly being allowed more trips so I am off on Wednesday to talk to the Innovations for Extremes Conference (Innovex_09 ) on Cradle to Cradle in leather on Wednesday. I enjoy working with Mary Rose and Mike Parsons at Lancaster University who run it and it is useful and rewarding to stay in touch with the Outdoor industry. This year’s conference is being streamed live on the Internet.

Getting Leather Back on Solid Ground

The last few days has seen swine flu pick up all the media attention and we must not ignore the implications for the leather industry with Egypt deciding to slaughter some 300,000 pigs for no good reason. Think of the impact on the leather industry if this were to happen in China where pigskin makes billions of feet of leather. I appear to have got myself into a discussion with a chap on Twitter who sees the Egyptian action as in part an Islamic move against the Coptic Christians. Whatever the truth is we do know that as the world’s population increases intensive, industrial type farming is putting people in much closer proximity to animals and increasing the likelihood of illness being transferred from animals to humans. A crowded world creates problems for the leather industry.

At the same time the New York Times publishes an article telling us that eating red meat is bad for you (Paying a Price for Loving Red Meat-A new study shows that red meat has had a severe impact on our health and longevity: ), and James May says some stupid things about leather in his weekly column in the Saturday Daily Telegraph – read this and the readers’ comments. Then you go on YouTube only to find that tens of thousands people have been watching the CEO of Pittards having to defend his activities in Ethiopia. After all that who would be a tanner?

So thank goodness that the marketing side of my can find in this week’s Harvard Hotlist and item: In a Recession, Put Everyone in Marketing – Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Now this is a subject I can live with.

Mike Redwood

04 May 2009

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