Artificial gripper for leather industry – Dünya Gazetesi

Rising product prices against the decreasing purchasing power all over the world decreased the interest in products made of genuine leather and increased the demand for artificial leather. While the annual growth of the leather market, which had a size of 394 billion dollars in 2020, decreased to 5.9%, the rate of increase in artificial leather approached 8 percent. The locomotive of growth is expected to be artificial leather shoes. While shoes made of artificial leather reach 87 percent of the total sales in Turkey, this rate is around 83 percent in the world. Sector representatives say that the name of leather should be protected in Turkey as well as in Brazil and Italy.

Footwear dominates the market

According to the leather products market analysis report published by the US and India-based market research and consultancy company Grand View Research, the leather products market, including artificial and vegan leather, reached a size of $ 394.12 billion in 2020. The sector is expected to grow 5.9 percent annually until 2028. In the said cake, the genuine leather segment ranks first with a 55% market share. Again in the total market, footwear stands out as the largest segment with a market share of 47.7 percent. According to the report, this segment is expected to grow by close to 6 percent each year and reach a size of 295 billion dollars by 2028, especially due to the demand for sports shoes. According to the information in the report, the sector; It consists of various types of products, including genuine leather, synthetic leather, vegan leather and bio-based leather. At this point, synthetic leather causes manufacturers to increase their capacity due to the relatively low production costs. In Turkey, the artificial leather market has a very high share. One of the most important reasons for this is that the name leather is also used in sales channels. In this context, sector representatives are working to avoid using the term “leather/fur” in the promotion and presentation of products made from leather-like materials (artificial, synthetic, vegan, etc.). The first legal decision on this issue was taken in Brazil in 2016. Likewise, Italy took a similar decision in 2020 and the practice is spreading in other EU member states.

“Demand for synthetic leather and fur protection will increase even more”

The biggest market share in artificial leather belongs to shoes in Turkey as well as all over the world. Hüseyin Çetin, President of the Turkish Footwear Industry Research, Development and Education Foundation (TESEV), explained that there is a production of around 480 million pairs in Turkey, and that 83% of the part sold in Turkey consists of shoes made of artificial leather and textile. Çetin said, “The share of leather shoes is 17 percent. On the other hand, 87 percent of the world’s consumption consists of shoes made of artificial and textile. Especially in the last 5 years, there has been a significant change. The high cost of leather shoes led the public to cheaper artificial and textile shoes. While the annual per capita consumption of shoes is 3 pairs including slippers in Turkey, this figure is 5 pairs in the EU. There are even countries with 7-8 pairs. Turkey is the EU’s largest and the world’s 6th largest producer of footwear. While the production of men’s shoes was higher before, the production of women’s shoes came to the fore with the widespread use of artificial leather. Currently, there is a serious increase in the production and consumption of shoes made of artificial leather. We expect demand to increase further with the effect of inflationary pressure,” he said.

Skin and fur protection

Aegean Leather Exporters’ Association Vice President Halil Gündoğdu emphasized that they are against the use of leather in products that are not genuine leather and that it should be protected. Gündoğdu used the following statements about the market: “There is an increasing demand for vegan and PU materials, which we call polyurethane, in the world. The rise in inflation upset the income balance. In this sense, there is an intensity in the demand we receive. However, the contents of the concepts are not like that. The product is called vegan, but the user’s expectation is not to buy a petrochemical product because it is vegan. It should be a vegan natural and plant-derived material. For example, this product was also made from cactus, but its cost is not low. It costs 30-40 dollars per square meter. He also finds a processed calfskin. In other words, contrary to popular belief, vegan leather is not cheaper than genuine leather. On the other hand, due to the decreasing purchasing power, the brands we call fast fashion tended more towards PU or PWC materials, which are 90 percent more suitable than these products. If a thousand bags are currently requested, 10 thousand bags made of such products are requested. Demand is at least 10 times higher than leather and this demand is expected to increase further.”

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