Leather has been used in clothing and footwear for centuries. As a by-product of meat consumption it is available, it is natural, durable and versatile.
But the process of turning hides into leather you will see used in an end product is not simple. The hides need preparation prior to the tanning and so called crusting process. They are labor intensive processes and in all stages chemical substances and water are used.
To ensure the traceability of our leather products and shift to source more sustainable leather, ASICS joined the Leather Working Group (LWG) in 2018.
The LWG is an organisation that brings together leather manufacturers and other stakeholders in a single entity, committed to clean business practices.
Although the LWG's intentions are principally focused on environmental sustainability, they also safeguard ethical business practices where possible.
Tanneries certified by an LWG audit demonstrate high levels of sustainability: for instance, by optimizing processes to obtain low-chromium leather, by reducing overall chemical use and by good housekeeping with water (leather can be very water-intensive to produce).
We had set a target to source 80% of the total leather used for ASICS, ASICSTIGER and Onitsuka Tiger branded footwear from LWG medal-rated suppliers by 2020.
Late 2018, we already sourced 88% from LWG medal-rated suppliers, reaching our target two years early.