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‘Real Leather. Stay Different.’ Design Competition Kicks Off in the United Kingdom

Global competition celebrates the versatility, beauty and sustainability of U.S. hides and leather

Washington, DC, March 12, 2020 – Real Leather. Stay Different., the worldwide campaign that celebrates the versatility, beauty and sustainability of U.S. leather, announced the launch of its first-ever Global Design Competition in the United Kingdom. The competition, which is co-organized by the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) and Leather UK, will provide an exciting forum for design students from prestigious British design universities to develop and produce trend-setting, inventive and inspiring leather consumer products.

“Through the Real Leather. Stay Different. Global Design Competition, consumers around the world are increasingly realizing the impeccable quality, durability and sustainability of U.S.-sourced leather,” said LHCA President Stephen Sothmann. “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with our colleagues in the UK to support the next generation of British designers in their quest to design versatile, beautiful leather products that consumers love.”

“British designers are some of the most ingenious trendsetters in the fashion world,” said Leather UK Director Kerry Senior. “Our collaboration with the Leather and Hide Council of America provides a unique opportunity to showcase the enviable qualities that make leather timeless by providing young British designers a forum to develop chic leather goods that reflect their individuality and vision.”

Design students participating in the competition will feature U.S. hides and leather in their designs across several categories: apparel, footwear and fashion accessories. Students are encouraged to showcase their individuality by using leather to create unique, compelling designs that appeal to style-conscious fashion consumers. Leather can be used exclusively or in combination with other natural materials suggested by contestants, but must be the principal material of the final good produced.

Five respected design universities in the UK have agreed to participate in the competition: The University of South Wales, The University of Northampton, The London College of Fashion, Manchester Metropolitan University and De Montfort University.

Competition entries must include concept sketches, a technical drawing with detailed specifications and an illustration showcasing from where students drew their inspiration. Entrants will also have to produce a prototype of their design for the final judging stage, which will take place in May 2020. Participants will be assessed on the innovative, visually appealing style of their entries.   

The winners in each category will receive an all-expenses paid training opportunity in the U.S., sponsored by LHCA. Runners-up in each category will receive a free, one-week Creative Leather Applications course at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies at the University of Northampton. Plus, an opportunity to win a week’s work experience at one of the UK’s biggest fashion houses, Mulberry, will be decided through a public vote via Woobox on the Real Leather. Stay Different Facebook page.

Real Leather. Stay Different. design competitions are simultaneously occurring in China and Taiwan. Photos, interviews and videos detailing the progress of the global competition will be featured on our Facebook page and on https://chooserealleather.com/.

About LHCA

Formed by the 2020 merger of the United States Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) and Leather Industries of America (LIA), the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) is a full-service industry trade association representing the entire U.S. leather supply chain, including meatpackers, hides and skins processors, traders, leather tanners, finished leather goods producers, footwear companies, chemical suppliers, machinery producers, trade media and market reporters, freight forwarders, transportation service providers, financial institutions and more.  The association provides its members with government, public relations, and international trade assistance and support.  LHCA is a cooperator organization under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s foreign market development programs, assisting U.S. firms develop new markets for U.S. agricultural exports. LHCA is at the forefront of the industry’s needs, providing members with education and technical information to compete in today’s global marketplace.

About Leather UK

Leather UK is committed to protecting the unique identity of leather as a sustainable and beautiful product and working together as one united sector to promote the UK leather brand at home and abroad. Leather UK supports the whole of the leather supply chain, from processing raw hides to producing leather goods, and all businesses that work intrinsically within the leather industry. Leather UK’s members include tanneries, leather finishers, leather merchants, service providers, manufacturers, leather goods producers, students and anyone else working within the leather sector. Leather UK also works at the international level through membership of the EU leather association, COTANCE, and its role as the secretariat for the International Council of Tanners.

By | May 11th, 2020|News|

Birdsall Leather – We have moved!

After settling in Sydney in the late 1800s, the Birdsall family commenced tanning sheepskins in 1883 at the North Botany Tannery (now known as Mascot). The large tannery prospered over five generations – and 105 years – supplying quality leather skins to a national and international market.

In 1988, the Mascot tannery closed and David & Judy Birdsall then opened a smaller tannery in Chegwyn Street, Botany.

Now in our 137th year (2020), David & Judy’s son, Andrew Birdsall, has moved this small family tannery to Taren Point, south of Sydney. Now into its fifth generation (and sixth generation too!), Andrew – along with his wife Shane, & daughter Katlyn, and brother Scott, with wife Louise – still embrace the business and continue the family tradition, producing high quality leathers, a broad product range, and servicing a local and international market.

Birdsall Leather specializes in kangaroo skins which have been vegetable tanned for lace and leathercraft. We also produce alum tanned redhide for whipmaking, together with leathercraft supplies, which play a major part of our product mix, including tooling sides, shoulders and exotic skins plus all types of tools, dyes and finishes. Stylish cowhide hair rugs are also available and other exotic skins such as Mongolian and Icelandic sheep skins which are new to the range.

Leathercraft classes will be back up and running in the coming months after our big move. They are weekly for those wanting to learn this wonderful craft along with workshops on specific projects like shoes, whips, journals, plaiting, molding and much more.

Follow us on Facebook (Birdsall Leather) or instagram (@birdsallleathercraft) or join our mailing list to hear all the news. Buying on-line is easy and mail order is our specialty. However, please note: Amidst the current COVID-19 conditions, please bear in mind that out shop front is currently closed to the public. Our phone lines are open to help in any way we can, so if you need help with an online order please don’t hesitate to contact us. We all need to take these measures to ensure our small business can operate and stay open in the future. Please check the website for future updates.

On behalf of the Birdsall Team we hope for everyone to stay safe and healthy.

Birdsall Leather, 6 Bay Rd, Taren Point  NSW  2229  Australia

By | May 11th, 2020|Sponsors|

C Loy’s Leathers Marks Five Years in Business

It’s a wonderful feeling to meet our 5 year anniversary! We are happy to say that we are stronger than ever and that’s all thanks to our great customers! We would love to express our most heartfelt “Thank Yous” to all of our customers, as we would have never made it this far without you. C Loy’s Leathers is and has always been very customer-focused and we are proud to have such amazing customers continue being part of the C Loy’s family. As the saying goes, “You don’t build a business, you build people; then the people build the business.” You can always expect that here at C Loy’s Leathers, YOU are the boss.

By | May 11th, 2020|Sponsors|