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Manufacturers of Traditional Leather Focus on Upgrading Infrastructure

In the current scenario, the traditional leather market is witnessing evolution. However, animal cruelty, growing demand for eco-friendly products, large wastage output, and environmental degradation concerns loom large over the traditional leather market. Due to these factors, key participants of the traditional leather market are under pressure to review their manufacturing processes and engage in eco-friendly practices. The demand for traditional leather products is witnessing a steady growth despite a significant rise in the number of eco-conscious consumers. According to the stakeholders in the market, nearly 70% of the leather is produced from cattle hides.

Traditional leather is extensively used in the production of a range of goods and products, including footwear, furniture, automobile interiors, luxury goods, and fashion accessories. Traditional leather garnered significant popularity in the past few decades, owing to its superior quality and appearance. At present, manufacturers of traditional leather are focused on upgrading their age-old manufacturing infrastructure and are eyeing the opportunities presented by the booming e-Commerce sector. Despite the advent of vegan leather and other traditional leather alternatives, the traditional leather market is likely to reach a market value of ~US$ 86.3 Bn by the end of 2027.

traditional leather market infographic

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Use of Traditional Leather in Automobile and Garments to Gain Momentum

The global traditional leather market is projected to reach a market value of ~US$ 69 Bn in 2019. In terms of end user, the footwear segment is expected to account for ~30% share of the traditional leather market in 2019 and maintain a similar trend during the forecast period (2019-2027), rendering it the most prominent end user of traditional leather. However, in recent times, increasing number of consumers across the world are refraining from purchasing footwear made from traditional leather, owing to mounting animal and environment concerns. Due to technological developments, shoe manufacturers are continually leaning toward other cost-effective alternatives such as synthetic materials that offer the same quality and appearance. Despite the growing interest in alternative materials, the demand for leather footwear is anticipated to witness steady growth during the forecast period, owing to strong consumer affinity toward fashion footwear. The footwear segment is likely to reach a value of ~US$ 26.5 Bn by 2027.

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The automobile and garments end user segments are projected to account for a combined share of ~29% of the traditional leather market in 2019. These two segments are expected to play a key role in propelling the growth of the traditional leather market during the forecast period. However, the demand for traditional leather in all of these segments could witness a potential slowdown, due to the adoption of alternative synthetic products, especially in North America and Europe.

Growing Demand for Products Made Using Alternative Materials

The demand for traditional leather could witness a slowdown, as products made using alternative materials are garnering significant popularity. Several trends suggest that the decline in the demand for traditional leather is primarily due to the negative impact on the environment as a result of the tanning process, and global disputes pertaining to trade and tariffs. Several stakeholders opine that consumer demand for products made from alternative synthetic materials is on the rise and could affect the growth prospects of the traditional leather market.

Furthermore, the demand for eco-friendly vegan leather is surging and the trend is expected to gain notable momentum during the forecast period. Fashion brands are investing resources in research and are inclined toward fulfilling consumer demand for sustainable products by using traditional leather substitutes, such as plant-based leather, which include apple leather, coconut water leather, etc. Several footwear manufacturers, including Beyond Skin, Native Shoes, and Nicora, among others, are launching new products made from vegan leather. A similar trend can be seen within the automobile sector. This end user segment is likely to account for ~16% share of the traditional leather market in 2019. In a recent announcement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted at rolling out Tesla cars using vegan leather interiors.

traditional leather market segmentation

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global traditional leather market is expected to expand at a CAGR of ~3% during the forecast period. This growth of the market can be attributed to the ascending demand for leather footwear and fashion accessories. Application of traditional leather in the production of luxury goods is expected to enhance growth prospects of key participants operating in the traditional leather market landscape. Governments of developing countries such as India, China, and Vietnam, among others, are expected to aid the leather industry in their respective countries in their bid to significantly increase the volume of leather exported. Moreover, the onset of e-Commerce platforms and online shopping platforms has played a critical role in improving the demand for fashion garments made from traditional leather - an opportunity for the stakeholders to improve their footprint in the current traditional leather market.  

Traditional Leather Market: Overview

  • Leather is a durable material produced through the process of tanning raw animal skin and hide to preserve for longer duration
  • Traditional leather has several features, which make it superior to synthetic products, including durability, comfort, beauty, suppleness, and resilience. Traditional lather is used in various industries, such as footwear, automobile, furniture, garments, and luxury goods. 

Rise in Utilization of Waste from Meat Industry to Drive Traditional Leather Market

  • Animal skins and hides are considered waste products in the meat industry. The traditional leather industry recycles the skins and hides to produce leather.
  • According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the meat produced in 2018 was around 335 million tons. In 2017, the meat production stood at around 330 million tons. This is an increase of 1.5%, which is the highest since 2014. Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in meat consumption in China, the U.S., Japan, Mexico, and South Korea. For instance, every individual in the world currently consumes 43.7 kilograms of meat every year on an average, which was around 25 kilograms in 1965.
  • Rise in meat consumption ultimately leads to higher production of wastes, including skins and hides. These skins and hides are disposed of by dumping in landfills. This dumping in landfills is likely to be expensive in the near future, as governments are planning to increase the landfill tax. For instance, in the U.K., the standard rate of the material dumped was around GBP 88.95 per ton in 2018, which is expected to rise to GBP 94.15 per ton by 2020. These stringent regulations are intended to promote the reuse of waste materials being dumped in landfills.
  • Dumping of skins and hides in landfills is not financially feasible. However, use of skins and hides in traditional leather manufacturing would lead to creation of new jobs, rise in wealth, and enhancement of lives of people associated with the traditional leather industry.
  • Rising use of waste from the meat industry is estimated to drive the global traditional leather market during the forecast period. 

Concerns over Usage of Hazardous Chemicals during Tanning Process

  • The leather industry is one of the major pollution-generating industries. Leather processing causes unfavorable impact on the environment. In the tanning process, hazardous chemicals are used, some of which are carcinogenic. These include chromium compounds, limestone soda ash, cyanide-based finishes, arsenic, coal-tar derivatives, sulfuric acid, sodium chlorate, and aldehydes. All these untreated chemicals are released in nearby water bodies, which causes sharp increase in water pollution.
  • In India, the Jajmau area of Kanpur has witnessed hazardous effects of pollution from the leather industry, wherein untreated chemicals are released in river. The same water is used for irrigation to farmland, which leads to a steep decline in the productivity of food, crops, and vegetables. More than 11 million people are affected by this water, and around 10,000 have died due to various diseases, including cancer.
  • The chromium tanning process generates a large quantity of waste, due to the repetitive process of soaking raw hides and wringing them out, which are contaminated with several chemicals. This wastewater not only damages water bodies, but also soil in nearby areas, which cause a severe impact on marine as well as land life.
  • Vegetable tanning, however, is a more eco-friendly method to produce leather, but the time taken to produce leather is much higher than that in case of chromium-tanned leather. Vegetable tanned leather is also more expensive and has limitations in terms of color. Unavailability of skilled labor is another disadvantage of the vegetable tanning process.
  • Rise in awareness about environment and stringent government rules and regulations are projected to restrain the growth of the traditional leather market during the forecast period 

Innovation in Lab-grown Leather from Animal Cells to Offer Growth Opportunities

  • Traditional leather is made of animal hides and skins. Due to rise in awareness about animal welfare and environment-related concerns, the demand for traditional leather in North America and Europe has declined marginally in the past few years.
  • In the U.S., there has been 32% decline in cattle population in the last decade, as several individuals are avoiding meat as well as traditional leather products
  • In order to address this issue, some companies are producing leather through the animal cell culture method in labs. In this method, animal cells are grown in a lab in a suitable medium to produce products that can replace animal leather.
  • Few companies are using advanced technologies, such as 3D printing. In this method, a layer of animal skin is printed, which can be used as a substitute for traditional leather. This type of traditional leather is produced without hurting the animal and it has a lower carbon footprint than traditional leather. This factor is considered a key driver of the global traditional leather market. 

Traditional Leather Market: Key Developments

  • In April 2019, Wollsdorf Leather Mexico invested US$ 44 Mn in its new production facility located in Guanajuato, Central Mexico. The company is expanding its production to up to 15,000 animal hides per week; earlier, the production capacity was 5,000 to 7,000 hides per week. This plant would process from wet-white and wet-blue to traditional leather, to target the rising demand for traditional leather in the U.S. automotive segment.
  • In October 2019, ECCO opened its new high-tech leather cutting plant in Xiamen, China. The new plant is among the most advanced cutting plants in the world, with state-of-the-art technology and reduced environmental footprint.
  • In July 2018, Gruppo Mastrotto presented new leathers meant for use in the manufacturing of footwear, leather goods, belts, and accessories at the International Shoes & Leather Vietnam Fair held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • In September 2019, ECCO Sko A/S reopened its OMOTESANDO store in Tokyo, Japan. It is ECCO’s first store to have the new fused concept of Premium Concept X Tannery Exclusive. 

Asia Pacific to Dominate Traditional Leather Market

  • Asia Pacific dominated the global traditional leather market in 2018. The market in the region is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period, due to rapid growth in end-use industries, such as footwear, automobile, furnishing, garments, sporting goods, and luxury goods, especially in developing countries such as China, Japan, and India.
  • Europe also accounted for a large share of the global traditional leather market in 2018. European countries are considered as fashion hub of the world, and the traditional leather products are known for their quality and premium appearance worldwide.
  • The traditional leather market in North America is projected to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period, as the market in the region is mature 

Traditional Leather Market: Competition Landscape

  • The traditional leather market is highly fragmented; there is a presence of a large number of players operating at local, regional, and international levels
  • Key players operating in the global traditional leather market include
    • Rahman Group PAKKAR
    • Superhouse Group
    • JBS
    • KG Leathers
    • Özyüksel Leather Company
    • Gruppo Mastrotto
    • ECCO Sko A/S
    • Siddiq Leather Works (Pvt) Ltd

Traditional Leather Market – Scope of the Report

A latest study collated and published by Transparency Market Research (TMR) analyzes the historical and present day scenario of the global traditional leather market to accurately gauge its future development. The study presents detailed information about important growth factors, restraints, and key trends that are creating the landscape for the future growth of the global traditional leather market, to identify opportunistic avenues of the business potential for stakeholders. The report also provides insightful information about how the global traditional leather market will progress during the forecast period of 2019-2027.

The report offers intricate dynamics about the different aspects of the global traditional leather market that aids companies operating in the market in making strategic development decisions. TMR’s study also elaborates on significant changes that are highly anticipated to configure the growth of the global traditional leather market during the forecast period. It also includes key indicator assessment to highlight the growth prospects of the global traditional leather market, and estimate statistics related to the market progress in terms of volume (Million Square Meters) and value (US$ Mn).

This study covers a detailed segmentation of the global traditional leather market, along with key information and a competitive outlook. The report mentions company profiles of key players that are currently dominating the global traditional leather market, wherein various developments, expansions, and winning strategies practiced and executed by leading players have been presented in detail.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s Report on Traditional Leather Market

The report provides detailed information about the traditional leather market on the basis of comprehensive research on various factors that are playing a key role in accelerating the growth of the market. Information mentioned in the report answers path-breaking questions for companies that are currently functioning in the market and are looking for innovative ways to create a unique benchmark in the traditional leather market, so as to help them make successful strategies and target-driven decisions.

  • Which end user will emerge as a revenue generator for the traditional leather market during the forecast period?
  • How are key market players successfully earning revenue in the competitive traditional leather market?
  • What will be the Y-o-Y growth of the traditional leather market between 2019 and 2027?
  • What are the winning imperatives of market frontrunners in the traditional leather market?
  • Which finishing type is expected to have maximum potential for traditional leather during the forecast period?

Research Methodology – Traditional Leather Market

The research methodology adopted by analysts for combining the global traditional leather market report is based on detailed primary as well as secondary research. With the help of in-depth insights of the industry-affiliated information obtained and legitimated by market-admissible resources, analysts have offered riveting observations and authentic forecasts of the global traditional leather market.

During the primary research phase, analysts have interviewed industry stakeholders, investors, brand managers, vice presidents, and sales and marketing managers. Based on data obtained through the interviews of genuine resources, analysts have emphasized on the changing scenario of the global traditional leather market.

For secondary research, analysts have scrutinized numerous annual report publications, white papers, industry association publications, and company websites to obtain the necessary understanding of the global traditional leather market.

Traditional Leather Market – Segmentation

TMR’s research study assesses the traditional leather market on the basis of raw material, end user, finishing type, and region. This report presents extensive market dynamics and progressive trends associated with different segments, and how they are influencing the growth prospects of the traditional leather market.






Exotic Leather

End User


  • Performance Footwear
  • Fashion Footwear


  • Couch & Sofa
  • Chairs


  • Interior décor & Surfacing
  • Wall Tiles


  • Seat
  • Door
  • Dashboard
  • Steering Cover
  • Others

Sporting Goods



  • Fashion Apparel
  • Fashion Accessories
  • Performance Apparel

Luxury Goods


  • Hard Luxury
    • Jewelry
    • Watchstraps
  • Soft Luxury
    • Handbags
    • Luggage
    • Wallets


Finishing Type








North America


Asia Pacific

Latin America

Middle East & Africa

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Traditional Leather Market

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