100 years of quality leather23 January 2007
Rompaleather were founded 100 years ago on December 20, 1906. Rompaleather began life as a veg leather tannery and expanded after WWII to provide upper leather to the Dutch footwear industry. At that time export levels were very low and the growth of the footwear industry in the southern part of Holland could consume the whole of the tannery's production. In the second half of the last century the footwear industry in Holland completely disappeared; factories either closed or transferred their activities to countries such as Portugal and Spain, and as of the late 1990s, to China and India. Rompaleather reduced the number of staff considerably and tried to retain production in Holland through regular modernisation. To this end new markets were found in Eastern Europe and new articles developed for the leathergoods and upholstery sectors. In 1999 Rompaleather decided to sell their existing site and invest in a state-of-the-art building in the new industrial area. The company developed new process-orientated production lines, increasing productivity and making them highly competitive. The company believe that their location near to international harbours and airports and proximity to the chemical companies gives them a strong position in the market and increases their chances of survival. Rompaleather's main markets are located in Europe, particularly Eastern European countries where a large volume of shoe, bag and upholstery manufacture takes place. Outside Europe, the company's specialities are marketed to China and India. The company strive to create the best products where they can provide additional value. They have also tried to develop new products with specific properties such as footwear leathers which keep the wearer's feet cool. In addition, Rompaleather are developing an anti-infective leather and new tannages for the leathergoods industry to appeal to the most fashionable of women. Holland's first industrial tannery in 1906, and one of the country's last remaining tanners, Rompaleather serve all branches of the leather industry and are confident about the future. The company invest in highly skilled staff and modern machinery and consider themselves well placed to form partnerships with clients who have retained production in Europe.