From Hide to High Street

The Textile Institute does some great work and it is now clear holds some superbly interesting meetings. It is really good news for all alumni and current students that we are developing a closer relationship with them.  This is going to be demonstrated on October 24th when they hold a joint conference at the University of Northampton.  The details and application to attend is to be found on the web site:

In addition below are the details of the day and the talks currently scheduled. It should be fascinating, and well worth attending.  Not just for what will be discussed but because of those you will meet, and the long term links into the leather and textile industry you will gain.

From Hide to High Street – Leather Innovation
24 October 2012 0930 – 17.00

AM – Key Note Speaker
“Adapting to a Global Market Environment”
Reg Hankey, CEO, Pittards

“Talking Leather”
Rachel Garwood, Director, Institute for Creative Leather Technologies

“Is My Leather Safe & Legal?”
Speaker to be confirmed

Speaker from STAHL

PM – Key Note Speaker
“From Farm to Footwear”
Guy West, Director, Jeffrey West & Co

“Design through to Retail”
David Thurston, Director, Get Style London

“Evolution of a Company Brand & Leather”
Speaker to be confirmed

“Branding in the Leather Industry: the role of ingredient branding”
Professor Mike Redwood, Visiting Professor, University of Northampton

Plus Tannery Tours!

Venue:  Sunley Conference Centre, University of Northampton, Northampton, UK 

Thinking about the links between leather and textiles moves one’s thoughts to a wide variety of natural materials such as wool and linen. Understanding the terminology of the various aspects of the environment has become very complex. Issue, mostly incorrectly reported, around chromium have lead tanners to make some dreadfully improper claims for chrome free leather. Examples of greenwashing abound.

Rohantime Green Glossary

Rohan has published a guide related to this and it can be found at:

I have included a few entries below to give a flavour for you to read.

Alpaca wool is very enduring. Insecticides are not injected into the Alpaca sheep fleece. The animal is very hardy. Most Alpaca products are imported at the moment.

A natural fibre from the bamboo plant. Bamboo has natural, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Bamboo fabric can absorb up to four times more moisture than cotton. It is because of this it has attracted interest amongst outdoor garment manufacturers. Bamboo viscose is a fibre which has been reconstituted from the original bamboo fibre and therefore small amounts of original bamboo fibre remain.

Cradle-to-cradle, C2C or Cradle 2 Cradle
The phrase “cradle to cradle” itself was coined by Walter R. Stahel in the 1970s. Stahel has emphasized the importance of the economic, ecologic and social advantages of the loop economy, which is increasingly referred to as circular economy. A play on the “Cradle to Grave” phrase, implying that the C2C model is sustainable and considerate of life in general. The Cradle to Cradle model can be viewed as a framework that considers systems as a whole or holistically. C2C Designers consider end of life in their design so that no chemical elements go to landfill but are all properly reused not just recycled. Only organic material goes to landfill.

Greenwashing is a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products (such as goods or services) are environmentally friendly.
Greenwashing may be described as “spin”

For centuries the hemp fibre has been used for paper, rope and cloth. Hemp fibre is extremely durable and makes great clothing (Levi jeans originally made with hemp). Because of its strength it is again being used by some outdoor clothing manufacturers but to date it is being blended with other fibres.

There is no entry for leather; perhaps logical as it is a very minor part of the Rohan range and for many years they had none whatsoever. Yet if you were going to add an entry for leather what would you put? We have lots of clever marketing phraseology, we are all very proud of our material. We know it is sustainable and a valuable bi-product. Yet in “green glossary” how would we have it defined?

Answers please to

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