Collaborations & Partnerships

LWG is forging partnerships that benefit the entire leather industry

The Leather Working Group is an international membership organisation, with over 1000 members across 44 countries worldwide. Since 2005, we have represented the most concentrated effort across the leather industry to reduce the environmental impact of leather production.

Our membership ranges from from leather manufacturers and traders, to brands and retailers, suppliers of chemicals, machinery and testing, as well as auditors and associations. As a multi-stakeholder group, forming collaborations and partnerships with other organisations is crucial.

Only through full supply chain engagement can we: respond to the challenges faced by the leather industry ensure maximum value minimise duplicative work. LWG boasts a demonstrated track record of collaboration and joint efforts with key stakeholders across the industry, including the following:


 

ZDHC — Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals

ZDHC works with global brands, chemical suppliers, and manufacturers to reduce the textile, leather and footwear industry's chemical footprint on the environment.

LWG and ZDHC work collaboratively on a number of different projects. In particular, LWG has provided input on the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) and the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. In addition, ZDHC provided input on the development of the LWG Chemical Management Module (CMM).

Furthermore, ZDHC provides LWG-certified leather manufacturers with free access to the ZDHC Gateway, to facilitate better chemical management within the leather manufacturing industry.


 


 

National Wildlife Federation (NWF)

The National Wildlife Federation is one of the world’s largest, oldest, and most trusted nonprofit conservation organizations, with more than 6 million members and supporters. NWF is committed to protecting and restoring habitats, waterways and communities, advancing 21st century wildlife management, and mobilising the next generation of conservationists.   

LWG has been collaborating with NWF for many years, focused primarily on developing better traceability within the global leather industry. In 2020, NWF joined the LWG Traceability Working Group — a committee launched as a forum to address traceability concerns within the leather supply chain, as well as review and develop LWG’s existing traceability requirements.  
 
In the future, LWG and NWF will collaborate to identify solutions for reducing deforestation in the leather supply chain. 

 


 


 

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the world’s leading independent conservation organisation. As part of their mission, WWF works with producers, companies and full supply chains to improve the sustainability of beef and leather production, helping to ensure that consumers safe, affordable and sustainable choices.

LWG works with the WWF in the development of our traceability criteria, to achieve the goal of a fully traceable, deforestation-free leather supply chain. 

 


 

Solidaridad Network

The Solidaridad Network is an international civil society organization that works to develop solutions to make communities more resilient. They currently work in over 40 countries, on five continents, through eight independently supervised regional offices.

Solidaridad works with the Leather Working Group to provide financial support and knowledge sharing for the LWG Tannery of the Future (TOTF) self-assessment tool, facilitating capacity building for leather manufacturers across the globe. A representative of the organisation also sits on the Tannery of the Future Sub-Group to provide invaluable insight for the direction of the tool. 

 

 

Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange is a global non-profit that works closely with our members to drive industry transformation in preferred fibers, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks.

LWG and Textile Exchange agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in late 2018, for the purpose of collaborating on the promotion of environmental improvement within the leather industry. The collaboration will foster alignment to ensure cross-fertilisation of knowledge and avoid duplicative activities.

In addition, the Textile Exchange Leather Impact Accelerator (LIA) recognises the LWG Audit Standard within its leather production environmental standard benchmark. The LIA is a framework that sets existing industry tools into a coherent package and enables leather supply chain members  to contribute to a more responsible supply chain. The LWG bronze medal rating is the minimum requirement to be recognised under this benchmark. 

LWG also participates in the Responsible Leather Round Table (RLRT).


 

Leather Naturally

Leather Naturally is a not-for-profit industry members association that focuses on education and the promotion of leather as a material. They promote the use of sustainable leather and seek to inspire and inform designers, creators, and consumers about its beauty, quality and versatility.


 

UNIDO — United Nations Industrial Development Organisation

The United National Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

LWG has worked with UNIDO to provide access to existing training materials and jointly create new materials for our members. Free training materials that are currently available include:


 

Material Exchange

Material Exchange is a digital platform designed to help brands, designers, materials teams, product developers and material vendors source materials, connect with suppliers, and provide transparency in material supply chains. 

LWG collaborates with Material Exchange to include LWG as a recognised sustainability accreditation on their digital database. In addition, leather produced by LWG-certified manufacturers will be recognised to give brands an indicator of their suppliers' audit status.


 

1% for the Planet

The Leather Working Group is proud to be part of the 1% for the Planet network, which connects businesses and nonprofits to protect the planet. 1% for the Planet works to build partnerships across six core issue areas: climate, food, land, pollution, water and wildlife.

Businesses joining 1% for the Planet commit to giving 1% of their gross sales each year to the approved nonprofit partners through various means of support. As such, businesses can fulfil part of their commitment through LWG Membership.