A pioneer in leather

In India, Solidaridad ventured into the global leather sector by choosing Kanpur-Unnao leather cluster to make a real contribution to the “CLEAN GANGA” project. For this intervention, Solidaridad conceptualized a potential project to strengthen the value chain of the Kanpur-Unnao leather cluster through building capacities of relevant stakeholders on eco-friendly and innovative technologies. The project would also establish a few pilots to demonstrate the value of best practices.

In addition, Solidaridad built a reputation with various stakeholders in Kanpur and conducted workshops on important thematic areas like wastewater management to engage the tanners. Solidaridad has also facilitated the installation of a real-time water quality monitoring system in 50 small-scale tanneries which helps theses tanneries to monitor their effluent discharge with a greater efficiency.

Solidaridad is promoting a self-assessment tool called Tannery of the Future (created by a Dutch expert) for small and medium-scale tanneries in Kanpur that helps them assess the strengths and weaknesses of their business operations. As a part of an integrated approach for this project, Solidaridad is also working with the downstream farming communities on better agricultural practices. Solidaridad has already engaged well with the downstream community and conducted a baseline study with one of the reputed research institutes of India called The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Moreover, Solidaridad is looking to broaden its leather portfolio in the region by scaling up ongoing interventions in Kanpur and replicating these successes in other leather clusters of India and Bangladesh.