Speaking at the annual Leather Research Industry Get Together at CLRI in Chennai, former Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) director G Thyagarajan said that the leather industry should make drastic changes and adopt advanced environmentally sustainable technologies.

"If aircraft can use carbon composite to reduce pollution, why can’t the leader industry apply the same concept?" he said. "It will be a breakthrough if leather industry use carbon sheet or carbon composite."
On day one of the two-day event, experts discussed how the Indian leather industry should be more environmentally vigilant, especially tanners, as well as their need to enhance products to increase export rates, said Rafeeque Ahmed, president of the All India skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association (AISHTMA) and Federation of the Indian Export Organisation (FIEO).

"China did not even have tanning capacity; they were dependant on India for the leather," he said. "Now, many are setting up tannery in China whereas India has not seen any foreign investments." Even a 10% swing from China’s footwear sector will double India’s exports, he added.

Ahmed also proposed the use of solar energy to burn effluents, and urged the CLRI to effectively convert waste water into raw material.