Environmental & social improvement
Pittards is a world leader in the manufacture of performance leathers, with operations in the UK and Ethiopia. We are committed to creating value for our stakeholders, our employees and the communities in which we operate, while delivering on a promise of ongoing environmental and social improvement.
Left: Pittards glove manufacturing in Ethiopia, creating job opportunities and teaching new skills.
It is estimated that 7.3m tonnes of waste from the global food industry could go to landfill if the leather industry did not upcycle hides and skins into leather. Pittards uses only hides and skins that are a by-product of the food industry and through versatile manufacturing turns them into a leathers that can be used in a wide range of products, from gloves and footwear to apparel and upholstery.
We make leather using raw material from sheep, goats and cattle (bovine) and where possible source those raw materials in-country for both our UK and Ethiopian divisions. This makes for low leather manufacturing miles and helps reduce the overall carbon footprint of the finished leather.
As part of our ongoing commitment to responsible manufacturing we work with chemical partners that take a strategic approach to reducing environmental impact and work with a stringent Manufacturing Restricted Substance List (MRSL) that identifies substances that are undesirable to work with, not just for the present but for the future too.
Pittards has long been a leader in the elimination of sensitive chemicals, such as Azo dyestuffs and set the benchmark with its PFC (poly-fluorinated chemicals) free water resistant treatment ahead of the fabric industry.
Left: Product development testing as part of our ongoing commitment to innovation.
Pittards runs a safe, compliant manufacturing environment, it is ISO 14001 certified across both divisions and ISO 9000 certified and LWG bronze medal rated in the UK. Our Ethiopian division has been independently audited and certified against environmental and quality management standards by major brands.
Pittards has been a pioneer in partnering with brands to establish MRSL compliance and has maintained its own in-house testing laboratory for over fifty years, ensuring delivery against technical standards and test criteria as well as being a proving ground for innovation and new technology.
Left: testing water resistance to pass Pittards WR100 standards.
In Ethiopia Pittards work at its tannery location extends beyond the commercial and deep into the local community.
An on-site clinic looks after the workers and their families and support for the school is ongoing through the building of new classrooms, and establishing a supply of books to the library.
Left: Presentation of books to the local school in Edjersa.
Investing in people...
Creating apprenticeships across all disciplines of the business in an important part of sustaining and maintaining the manufacturing heritage at Pittards. Project-based initiatives with the University of Northampton plus London College of Fashion have provided paid internships for young designers and developers.
Left: In the UK Ollie was South West Apprentice Company, Apprentice of the Year 2020
In Addis Ababa we work with charities such as Bravehearts Ethiopia and GOAL to find a way into work for disadvantaged people, providing skills training and advancement opportunities.
Always looking to increase the skill-set of of employees we provide regular opportunities to travel between divisions to further experience or provide additional educational experience.
Right: CEO Reg Hankey visits Bravehearts, Ethiopia.