Latest from BLC Leather Technology Centre

16 May 2003

Over the past 18 months BLC has succeeded in developing its strongest research programme ever. The projects secured for the next two/three years ensure that BLC continues to be the world leader in leather technology. The wide ranging programme, worth over US$1milion, has over 15 separate projects, including preservation, novel enzyme technologies for the beamhouse, tanning, dyeing, finishing, water recycling, wastewater treatment through to improved disposal of solid waste. The results of this research are available exclusively to BLC members. Recognising the growing significance of working closely with the supply chain, BLC has just successfully completed a one-day seminar for retailers and leather users. Entitled 'Leather in Retail', the seminar was designed to advise retailers on the special characteristics of leather and how to manage it, covering global sourcing, specification setting, labelling, restricted substance testing and how to maximise the profitability of leather in retail. The response to the seminar was overwhelming with over 200 retailers booking within five days of the announcement. A further event is planned to accommodate the high demand. Increased membership has had a positive impact on the testing services at BLC. In the six months to March 2003, BLC has seen a significant increase in membership, with over 250 new companies joining BLC from all parts of the world. Many of these new members have come from the UK retail sector, reflecting the current high profile interest in leather for a wide range of fashion and lifestyle products. Much of this success has been the direct result of a concerted effort to assist retailers and suppliers to the retail market to meet the demands of increasingly complex legislative requirements. Linked to this demand, BLC has continued to improve the service offered by the testing department and has seen a steady growth in business. It is anticipated that income for the year from testing will increase by around 20%. BLC has also recently secured a DTI funded project to develop a novel metal free tannage. The objective of the three-year project is to develop a hyrdothermally stable tannage using functionalised novel polymers to cross link collagen. For further information contact Dr Victoria Addy at BLC.

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