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SGS Global Softlines Roadshow 2014 – US, UK, Spain, Germany and Italy

Sustainability is a top agenda in both the business and public sector. In light of recent sweeping changes in the world’s economy and the heightened attention of consumers’ awareness on sustainable production, the footwear and leather industry and their supply chains are now facing an increasing number of different challenges.

Challenges include product safety, quality, functionality, as well as environmentally and socially sustainable production of footwear and leather products. Taking steps towards sustainability would create brand value among the consumers and other stakeholders; it takes into account the environmental and social impact of their productions, selection of raw materials, use of technologically innovative production methods, and applying this thinking all the way to retailing and disposal of the end products.

In this seminar, our experts will share with you the fundamentals of footwear and leather production, the challenges facing the footwear and leather industry in achieving a sustainable approach throughout the whole production process and supply chain. This seminar is designed to help brands/retailers/sourcing companies and manufacturers of footwear and leather goods identify the supply chain and compliance issues the industry is facing, as well as master the key elements of chemical management and sustainable production.


  • Understanding leather production process from raw hides to finishing
  • Quality management of leather, how to select the right tanners, leather grading, measures to improve the cost efficiency of leather
  • Understanding footwear production and the current challenges in the supply chain
  • Potential chemical risk in footwear and leather production process, understanding the most concerned restricted substances and requirements in footwear and leather products, how to manage the restricted substances along the supply chain
  • Spreading the test cost through supply chain, reducing the possibility of finding restricted substances in the final products
  • Workshop recap, Q & A

Events run from 9 September-10 October 2014.


Mr. Paul Bridge

Paul has over 30 years of International Footwear Production, Footwear Materials and Leather experience. Starting his career in Northamptonshire, the home of the UK Footwear industry. Paul has worked for footwear Manufacturers supplying many renowned footwear brands and High-end High street retailers, before developing his career in the Footwear Machinery and Components suppliers, moving to the USA to head sales Porvair International supplying many International brands, the past few years Paul was Sales Director of ECCO Leather based in Holland before joining SGS to share his experience with the Footwear and Leather Team.

Dr. Andrew Hudson

Having graduate with a degree and PhD in Chemistry, Andrew has been in the leather and textile industry for over 20 years. Initially working in research and development programs on technical innovations in leather production and colour fastness, he oversaw the expansion of a leather testing laboratory with specific focus on restricted substances and footwear testing. He has also sat on the leather test method committees for ISO and CEN testing bodies for physical and chemical testing and has specific knowledge of restricted substance issues within leather products. Having worked in a number of different positions within the leather and footwear industry, he brings a balanced understanding of supply chain issues and their effect on suppliers and retailers alike.

Mrs. Sharon Schwarz

Sharon has over 20 years experience in leather sourcing and quality control, and production of leather finished products in the apparel and accessory industries. Sharon has worked in a wholesaler and manufacturer, Supplying leather handbags, small leather goods and belts and many private labels of major department stores in the US. Sharon spent the past two years at Myers Group as a business development manager for the leather for high end market of footwear and accessory before joining SGS.

For more information, please refer to the event pages: 

Location                                                   date                                                                                    
New Jersey, US   09 September 2014   
Boston, US 10 September 2014
Portland, US 16 September 2014
London, UK 23 September 2014
Alicante, Spain 30 September 2014
Taunusstein, Germany 07 October 2014
Fermo, Italy 09 October 2014

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.