The coronavirus has badly hit exports of leather goods, from India’s Bantala Complex, but amidst the strain there has been hope, in the shape of fresh orders of industrial safety gear coming from the states.

China has always been the main source of industrial safety gear in the US, but the outbreak has prompted a shift in their sourcing point. The hope is that this can partly offset the losses tanners have been making with their export consignments, which have been lying packed in warehouses for weeks, following the outbreak.

According to Imran Ahmed Khan, general secretary of the Calcutta Leather Complex Tannery Association, there have been hundreds of industrial safety gear orders, from both the US and Europe.

“This is a new avenue in which the tanners of the Calcutta Leather Complex will have to work. If we can deliver, according to quality requirements, the orders will continue to come in,” Khan said.

Meanwhile, leather goods importers from Italy and Germany are asking to keep their orders, stored in the tanneries, on hold.