The leather industry is currently going through a period of transition: consumers’ demands are changing and sustainability is becoming an essential requirement, in particular for the French leather industry. What is the current state of the leather goods market, what are consumers’ expectations, what is the new trend towards responsible consumerism, and what are the challenges currently facing manufacturers?
CONSUMERS’ NEEDS AND THE CHANGING MARKET
The leather goods market, in particular French leather goods, is constantly evolving. Consumers are taking responsibility for what they buy, and are more and more inclined to make their needs and expectations heard regarding leather goods Made in France. A recent study reported that 7 in 10 French people said they were increasingly likely to buy goods made in France. They saw it as a way to support the local and national economy.
The fashion market is on a general downward trend in France, with 63% of people reporting to have reduced the amount they spend on clothes in 2023. The current trend is towards “consuming less, but consuming better”. Moreover, consumers are increasingly turning to ethical, responsible brands, which is a great opportunity for manufacturers who have chosen to create high quality, long-lasting artisanal goods – manufacturers like Bleu de Chauffe.
COMPANIES ADAPTING TO GROWING DEMANDS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
The leather goods market has seen an increase of 4.5%, despite the drop in fashion consumption. Some companies have adapted to meet this new demand in a way that is not always honest, in particular misusing the image of French-made leather goods and the “Made in France” label.
However, some French leather goods brands are managing to be transparent about their production methods while remaining competitive in terms of style and elegance. Today, the trend in leather goods Made in France is towards clean, minimalist, understated designs. Consumers are also looking for long-lasting products: if they want to buy less, they want the products they buy to last. Brands therefore have to offer fashion that is beautiful, simple, and sustainable.
BLEU DE CHAUFFE SAVOIR FAIRE, A GUARANTEE OF DURABILITY
In the constantly-changing world of leather goods Made in France, Bleu de Chauffe sets itself apart with its savoir-faire and ethical approach. From making to selling our bags, we have complete control over the entire process of production and distribution. Our partners are carefully selected in order to support the local economy.
In the leather goods industry, including French leather goods, the majority of leather is treated using mineral tanning. This method allows the material to be dyed more quickly, which reduces production costs. However, it uses chemicals like chrome and other heavy metals, which not only produce large amounts of pollution, but are also potentially toxic for the environment and our health. There is also a risk of allergic reactions when leather treated in this way comes into contact with the skin.
Faced with these drawbacks, there is a more environmentally-friendly alternative: vegetable tanning. This method uses natural tannins extracted from trees and plants such as oak, acacia, chestnut, or mimosa. Although it is a longer and more expensive process, vegetable tanning gives the leather a more authentic look and a beautiful natural patina as it ages.
At Bleu de Chauffe, reducing our company’s environmental impact is a major concern. This is why we have chosen to use only vegetable-tanned leather. This choice is motivated by both environmental concerns and our pursuit of superior quality: by opting for vegetable-tanned leather, we ensure that our bags are not only beautiful and long-lasting, but also environmentally-friendly.
Every Bleu de Chauffe bag is made to last. By using high-quality leather tanned using environmentally-friendly methods, we are sure to be able to offer you products that are not only gorgeous to begin with, but that will become even more beautiful over time. The unique look and natural patina that the leather will take on over the years make these leather items Made in France unique and priceless.
The leather goods industry is evolving to adapt to consumers’ changing expectations. People are looking for sustainable products, made locally in a way that respects the environment. Brands therefore have to adapt to meet this new demand while ensuring they can still compete in terms of style and elegance. These initiatives are testament to the growing impact of the drive towards sustainability on the leather industry. Bleu de Chauffe sets itself apart by offering high quality products, made by our artisans at our workshop in the Aveyron region in France using methods that respect ethical criteria. By choosing Bleu de Chauffe, you are choosing a piece of French-made leatherwork that is environmentally friendly and made to last. By supporting our ethical vision of “a bag for life”, you are doing your bit to encourage more sustainable and responsible manufacturing in the leather goods industry.