The move is meant to drive alignment, and facilitate better collaboration and resource sharing. The reciprocal agreement allows members to access each other’s resources, to join member-only events and discussions, and to foster a stronger working relationship to reduce the environmental impact of the leather industry.
The LWG signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Textile Exchange in 2018 to align their efforts for driving environmental improvement in tannery operations and leather manufacturing. Since then, the partnership has developed, as LWG joined the Responsible Leather Round Table and helped Textile Exchange to create the Leather Production Environmental Standards Benchmark for the Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA), based on the LWG Audit Standard.
“Through the dedication of the technical experts that make up the LWG Technical Sub-Group, our audit standard will continue to be developed to ensure it remains relevant, valuable and impactful within the leather industry,” Christina Trautmann, program manager of the LWG, said. “We can only address the challenges facing the leather industry by engaging multiple different stakeholders across the supply chain and driving alignment, and we are committed to carry on working in collaboration with Textile Exchange as their benchmark is developed.”
Anne Gillespie, director of impact acceleration at Textile Exchange, said the organization respects the work LWG has done to provide solutions to address sustainability in leather production and values the support it has given in the development of the Leather Impact Accelerator.
“We look forward to future opportunities for collaboration,” Gillespie said
By admitting Textile Exchange as a member of LWG, it will be able to actively take part in the LWG’s activities and contribute to working groups on specific topics of value to the industry, as well as access the LWG Audit Standards and other technical documentation. Conversely, the LWG is now able to join the Textile Exchange Hub, a secure portal for members of the textile and leather industries to share knowledge and resources.
Both organizations were granted the reciprocal membership as of July 1.
LWG is composed of more than 1,250 members across the leather value chain, including leather manufacturers, brands, suppliers, traders and associations. The group develops audit certification standards to assess the environmental performance of leather manufacturing facilities and helps to promote responsible business practices throughout the leather supply chain.