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BRUSSELS – The global leather industry has joined the alpaca and silk sectors in formally requesting that the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) suspends the score it applies to leather in its Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI). 13 leading leather industry bodies accuse the SAC of a “troubling lack of transparency” where the Higg MSI is concerned, arguing that they have refused to engage with the leather community to ensure the data is accurate. These complaints very precisely echo those of the alpaca and silk industries, as do suggestions that Higg MSI uses old, inaccurate data and pushes brands towards fossil fuel-derived, unsustainable synthetic products. The Higg data for leather, they point out, is based on datasets from 2013.

Leading leather industry bodies, including the International Council of Tanners, the International Union of Leather Technologists’ and Chemists’ Societies, The Leather and Hide Council of America,  and leather’s representative body in the European Union, COTANCE, reviewed the August update of the MSI and concluded that it treats leather unfairly.

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