Shoe manufacturers turned to Smolny with an unusual request. They want officials to come up with a federal legislative initiative - they propose introducing a state standard for pressed leather shoes in Russia. If there is a separate GOST, honest manufacturers will have the opportunity to deal with Chinese dumping, and the buyer will be able to expect that he will not be deceived when buying shoes.
During production, pressed leather is crushed, polymers and resins are added to the powder. The resulting mixture is rolled into thin sheets, from which shoes and leather goods are sewn. According to documents, shoes made of such material are considered leather. Petersburg manufacturers sometimes also call pressed material "sawdust leather" and practically do not use it. But on the other hand, imported shoes, especially those that come from China, are often made from just such a material. At the same time, pressed leather costs at least three times less than ordinary leather. Therefore, the temptation to pass off shoes from a surrogate for real is quite great. As a result, honest producers are forced to either cut prices almost at a loss, or lose customers, who are increasingly voting in rubles.
As the chairman of the St. Petersburg shoe association, Mammad Mammadov, explained, in the standards in force today there are only three types of materials for leather shoes: genuine leather, artificial and synthetic. The current GOST was adopted back in 1985. Synthetic leather is by no means a synonym for artificial leather. For its production, substances are used that are obtained by synthesis, mainly various polymers. Now there are such shoes too, they are in the lowest price range, and you cannot even confuse them with leather. Artificial leather is actually not leather, according to GOST it is considered to be a cotton fabric with nitrocellulose or vinyl coating. According to the expert, at the moment when GOST was adopted, the technologies were not yet developed to such an extent as to press genuine leather.
“When the material is rolled up, the difference is clear. Pressed leather on the front side looks like real, and on the inside it resembles leatherette - it also has a fabric base. But in the finished product, the wrong side of the material is naturally hidden, ”says Mamedov. At the same time, the quality characteristics of the surrogate material are much lower. Like leatherette, pressed leather is breathable and has the same wearable feel as faux leather shoes. In cold weather, surrogate leather cracks, and the presentation of products from it loses quite quickly.
Shoemakers argue: they have no purpose at all to ban pressed leather. Firstly, this is impossible: up to 60% of all shoes sold in stores in St. Petersburg are made of this material. Secondly, with the introduction of GOST it will be possible to track the quality of raw materials. Pressed leather also happens to be different, there are also such materials in the production of which natural ingredients are almost never used. Along with such raw materials, products also come to the market from a perfectly suitable material, which, although inferior to natural, does not creep out of the rain and looks relatively decent. New rules will allow you to call quality material pressed leather, and everything else can fall into the category of synthetic.
The need to introduce a new standard has already been agreed upon at the All-Russian Leather Association and at Rospotrebnadzor. Smolny is developing a text of a legislative initiative.
And although the introduction of an additional standard will hit the wallets of citizens for whom for the most part real leather shoes will be unavailable, domestic manufacturers hope that they will have even a small, but an advantage in the competition with Chinese consumer goods.