A commitment to the origin of the raw material leather was formalized by two shoes brands: Arezzo & Co. and Calçados Bibi. The two companies signed an Agreement of Cooperation with the Brazilian Leather Certification of Sustainability (CSCB), encouraging their providers to participate in and seek recognition from the program, which disseminates best practices in tanning with a basis on the pillars of society, the environment, and economy. The signing took place at the CSCB Sustainability Forum.
This certification is based on the norm ABNT NBR 16.296 (Leathers – principles, criterion, and indicators for sustainable production), with auditing carried out by an INMETRO accredited organ (signing organ of the mutual recognition agreement in the IAF and the ILAC framework). The norm provides 173 indicators in areas like traceability of raw materials, animal well-being, reducing water consumption, reducing energy consumption, product quality control, restricted substances, and worker security. “Certification offers solid guarantees on a leather's origins, assuring to the industry and, therefore, to the final consumer, that that it was produced following rigid standards of quality, safety, and respect for people and the environment”, notes José Fernando Bello, executive president of the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB), a supporter of the CSCB.
"Arezzo & Co will be one of the first companies to sign this cooperation in Brazil. We're a company that values a guarantee of origin on the raw materials used to create our products," says Cisso Klaus, executive director of Arezzo & Co. For Bibi, the commitment also helps to ensure that children up to 9 years old have natural, healthy development of their little feet. "To this end, all of production takes into account transparency in processes, enabling us to develop non-toxic footwear sold in Brazil and over 70 other countries because we meet strict standards and certifications," says Marlin Kohlraush, president of Bibi.
Also related to sustainability, both companies stand out for strengthening the Sustainable Origin Seal. Bibi is the first company from the Brazilian footwear segment to obtain the Gold Seal in the Sustainable Origin Program, developed by Abicalçados (the Brazilian Footwear Industry Association), Assintecal (the Brazilian Association of Component Companies for Leathers, Footwear, and Artifacts), and USP (the University of São Paulo).
Through the agreement signed with the CSCB, Arezzo & Co and Bibi both commit to encourage the adhesion of their leather suppliers to the CSCB program and comply with the norm ABNT NBR 16,296. "This way, we give privilege to the supply of leather from tanneries that are already certified or that are in the process of adapting to meet to the norm. Additionally, already-certified tanneries will be encouraged to continue seeking to improve their processes and achieve higher levels of certification. Our main focus is to invest in innovation taking into account the issue of sustainability, to make Bibi a globally desired brand", concludes Kohlrausch.
Arezzo & Co points out the mobilization movements that took place at its headquarters in Campo Bo, encouraging its production chain to seek certifications for leather and other raw materials. "We held face-to-face meetings with all our major suppliers. They were moments of deep interaction, with the goal of acting together to seek the best practices for the market. Arezzo & Co has been working throughout the supply chain, making our partners aware that the sustainability journey needs strong, dedicated, and committed agents of change in order to stay increasingly competitive worldwide," says Cisso Klaus.
How a tannery can obtain certification
After adherence to the CSCB, the tannery should work to improve its processes for each of the 173 indicators. Meeting, registering, and continuity are required for each indicator and, upon conclusion of this stage, an audit by an INMETRO accredited organ can be solicited to obtain certification. There are four levels to the seal:
- Bronze (for those meeting up to 50% of applicable indicators in each of the four dimensions of certification)
- Silver (75%)
- Gold (90%)
- Diamond (100%).
About Arezzo & Co.
Founded in 1972, Arezzo&Co is a leader in the footwear, handbag, and women's accessory sector comprised of the brands Arezzo, Schutz, Anacapri, Alexandre Birman, Fiever and Owme. Visit our site at www.arezzoco.com.br
About Calçados Bibi
Founded in 1949, Calçados Bibi is a reference in the children's footwear market. Its factories in Parobé (RS) and Cruz das Almas (BA) produce 2.6 million pairs per year and the brand is present in more than 70 countries on five continents. In Brazil alone, their products are available in over 3,500 multi-brand sales outlets, as well as via e-commerce and in a network of more than 100 franchise stores. As a pioneer and leader in developing products based on research and scientific studies, Calçados Bibi has gained recognition from its work with physiological footwear and the use of Bibi Fisioflex insole technology- which gives their target public, children, the sensation of walking barefoot. The company is also the only footwear producer certified by the Gold Seal of Sustainability, attesting to its commitment to initiatives in positive industrial processes as well as development of actions that are aligned with the Environmental, Economic and Social pillars established by the Sustainable Origin program.