Why the Pakistani Leather market needs you
One would think that, with the large amount and diversity of livestock available in Pakistan, it’s leather industry would be world class. That, however, is not the case. The industry seems to be lacking, especially when it comes to finished products such as footwear and wallets.
The large gap between Pakistan’s natural ability to supply resources for leather and having finished products available for export becomes more distinct when compared with other countries who have similar leather profiles. For example, the yearly export for the Pakistani industry stands at only $110 million while Indian exports are at $100 billion per annum. This indicates the potential the Pakistani leather industry has but does not use.
The global market desires more and more leather goods now since they are one of the most widely traded commodities in the world. In fact, their global trade value is over $100 billion per annum. These numbers themselves show how much Pakistan would benefit from improving its leather industry and supporting sellers of leather and leather goods.
The local industry has shrunk over the years due to lack of technical advancements, and this has made Pakistan lose its ground internationally. These changes shrunk the shoe sector especially and caused a large decrease in investment from tanners. This lead to regional competitors like China, India and Bangladesh gaining ground and increasing their value-added exports.
It is a shame that these circumstances arose, especially due to the competitive edge Pakistan has within the region. The craftsmanship involved, specifically in traditional shoe-making, is highly varied from the rest of the world and heavily detailed. It is an art that has been passed down generations, and is a shame for it to be going to waste. It can be the ‘something new’ that is always needed in the fast paced, always changing and incredibly globalized fashion world.
The back bone of the footwear industry, high-quality leather, is readily available in Pakistan. Along with that, recent times have seen heavy investments in the shoe making sector and this gives new hope for the rising industry. Pakistan is now finally being recognized as an emerging competitor in the global shoe market.
Pakistan’s leather industry is capable of becoming one of our nations’s greatest assets. It could benefit from joint ventures with developed countries like Italy and China where growing labour costs have caused a decrease in production over the years. International collaborations can be the key that could help Pakistan with its previous hurdles in lack of technology and increase labour efficiency.
The traditional art of shoemaking has been inherited by many in Pakistan. Their techniques are nothing short of sheer excellence. It originated in and around the old city of Lahore and now around 80% of Pakistan’s handcrafted shoes are manufactured there. The world-renowned traditional Pakistani footwear ‘Peshawari Chappal’ is their specialty. They are semi-closed sandals made with two leather strips crossing over each other with an open back, tied with a buckle. It is known to be made of pure leather.
It is an honor for us at Kobani to introduce these sandals, a piece of our history, to the rest of the world.