Leather Labs debuts on the market to make access to leather more democratic with a series of products and services for clients and consumers;
The initiative includes income generation projects for social support, entrepreneurship and vocational training
With the aim of becoming the hub for legitimate and sustainable leather in Brazil, JBS Couros has created a business model to serve small and mid-size manufacturers of leather goods, including also architects, decorators, artisans, weavers and even end-consumers. The Leather Labs digital platform provides a differentiated experience, choosing sustainability and the circular economy as the central themes of its operations.
Using the platform, any person or company will be able to acquire leather for a wide range of activities, such as upholstery, footwear and leather goods, with access to data about the characteristics and benefits of the products, information about sustainability and the traceability of the hides, as well as technical support from specialists and access to inspirational stories from the world of leather. There will also be a virtual store with a range of items and complete kits for artisans in the “DIY” style.
JBS Couros expects to increase sales of finished and semi-finished leather in Brazil by up to 60% within a year. Leather Labs also plans to extend the service to the international market in 2021.
Qualification and entrepreneurship
Thinking about how to contribute to strengthening the work of present and future artisans, Leather Labs has an area especially dedicated to those wishing to specialize in leather or, additionally, those who would like to start a new business.
In the Leather Atelier one can find a totally free training course in Leather Wefts developed in partnership with the Brazilian architect and specialist artisan in the material, Raquel Takamoto. The course covers manual weft techniques using leather strips that can be reused from industry remnants and leftovers. The aim of the course is to provide students with initial contact with the material, try out the technique and, lastly, discover the countless possibilities of leather handicrafts.
Anyone interested can learn to make products using this technique, like cachepots, cushion covers, doylies, baskets and bags. Other courses will be available in the future.
The platform will also undertake a social project to demonstrate that sustainable leather can go much further than reducing the environmental footprint of production.
With the support of the JBS social responsibility program, Good Deeds Are Good, JBS Couros has created within Leather Labs an area dedicated to the generation of income for social support. It will make available for sale leather goods produced by the NGO Orientavida, in Potim (SP), with products made from sustainable leather, Kind Leather.
To provide greater visibility to the social impact of this partnership, Leather Labs and Orientavida have also created a Social Traceability platform. Every product produced by the institution and purchased in the Kindhearted Leather Store will bear a QR Code providing access to the story of each person who contributed to making a unique leather product.
Eight artisans from the institution, whose mission is to support low-income families in situations of vulnerability and/or social risk, have been trained by the company in how to work with leather, in addition to receiving industrial equipment to do the work, supplementary specialization provided by a specialized technical institution and continuous vocational training with a market specialist. JBS Couros will also support the work of prototyping every product they develop.
“Following three years of intensive planning, we want to be much more than a leather e-commerce operation. Our platform offers other important initiatives such as income generation and training projects, while also promoting the revolutionary concept, Kind Leather, the sustainable leather that is breaking paradigms and becoming the ideal material of the future”, says Guilherme Motta, CEO of JBS Couros. “We are connecting the links of our value chain so that everyone can produce items with the same international standard leathers that are the center of attention in the collections of the world’s top leather goods manufacturers, while also promoting the circular economy within the segment”, Motta adds.
Leather Labs is now available at https://www.leatherlabs.com and on the leading social networks like Instagram (@leatherlabs).
In 2019, JBS Couros launched the sustainable leather, Kind Leather. Using a more efficient and innovative production process, the new leather offers industry and society a series of important environmental, social and economic benefits through the intelligent use of raw materials and resources, traceability, sustainable origin and eco-efficiency.
The philosophy of Kind Leather consists of the belief that if a material is to be truly sustainable, its use must take into account the entire production chain. So, JBS Couros has introduced to the industry a more planet-friendly solution: removing at the start of the process those parts of the leather that are hardly of any use, since this material can be sent to other industries, like the pharmaceutical and food industries, transforming waste into raw materials and making a significant contribution to the sustainability of the entire value chain.
Find out more at: https://www.kindleather.com