History and mission
The Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium was founded in 1994 by eleven Tuscan tanneries. These tanneries revived the ancient technique of vegetable-tanning and today continue to produce vegetable-tanned leather in its complete process. Linked by their common passion to produce high quality, natural, and long lasting leather, the tanneries formed an association to communicate the essential characteristics of vegetable-tanning: a perfect marriage of natural quality, tradition and advanced technology.
Within a short time the Consortium increased in membership. Today it counts 23 member tanneries, all of them based in Tuscany, in the area between Pisa and Florence called ‘Leather District’.
The Consortium’s aim is to promote the concept of 'vegetable tanning' and to keep the Italian vegetable-tanning tradition alive. This process has its origins in the Renaissance era and it is documented in the Arts and Trades Corporation. The Consortium has important partners such as the Tuscan Regional Authority, the Italian Trade Commission and the Ministry for Economic Development and is strongly committed in communicating the peculiarities of vegetable tanning to any possible audience. With this purpose the consortium organizes yearly workshops for manufacturers, designers, retailers, seminars and guided visits to the tanneries for fashion students, press conferences for journalists, art or fashion exhibitions for end-consumers.
During the years the Consortium also positioned itself as an international organization and started to organize exhibits combining art, fashion, and design to reveal the leather trends of the season or seminars and workshops focusing their attention on the peculiar characteristics of vegetable-tanned leather. These international events are held yearly in prestigeous locations all over the world: the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Spiral Hall in Tokyo, the Natural History Museum in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Stazione Leopolda or the Palazzo Pitti in Florence are some examples.
Since the value of the vegetable-tanned leather is strictly linked to its Tuscan tradition, the Consortium decided to create a new quality trademark for the leather produced by its associated tanneries, aiming to celebrate this Tuscan excellence in the world: Pelle Conciata al Vegetale in Toscana (Vegetable-Tanned Leather of Tuscany).
Past Chairmen of the Consortium have always been highly esteemed personalities of the Tuscan tanning industry.
The current Chairman is Mr. Simone Remi.