The Global Resource for the Leather Industry

The Global Resource for the Leather Industry

The International Council of Tanners

Navigate the site below or search

What we do

ICT is the Global organisation for the leather producing industry. ICT was established in 1926, when there was a pressing need to establish a uniform International Contract for the buying and selling of hides, skins and leather in order to facilitate, regulate and promote international trade in the sector.


What is ICT?

The International Council of Tanners is the global body representing producers of leather. Its members are the national associations of leather producers, and most of the world’s major producing countries are members.

What does ICT do?

ICT’s fundamental role is to protect and promote leather and the leather producing industry, on a worldwide basis. The main way that it does this is to provide a forum for the industry to meet on a regular basis, in order to share common problems and to develop strategies for providing solutions. This includes passing on positive messages about the industry and responding to – often unjustified – attacks on the industry.

What is leather?

Leather is the hide or skin of an animal that has gone through a process called tanning, which turns it into a stable, long-lasting material. If the hides, skins or leather have been ground up into fragments and reformed, with or without the combination of other components, this material is not leather and will not perform like leather. Most regulations and standards governing the labelling of leather make this clear, but the rules aren’t always rigorously enforced.

Is leather an environmentally friendly material?

We say yes! Leather is based on a renewable resource – hides and skins – which are otherwise unwanted by-products of the meat, dairy and wool industries, and which if they were not converted into leather, would present a huge disposal issue. Leather is an attractive, versatile and long-lasting material that is used in a very wide range of products. Modern technologies have been widely implemented to address recycling and recovery of water, chemicals and solid wastes and well run tanneries do not represent a significant environmental burden.

ICT Membership

Sign up to our newsletter