ChromeFree® Leather Alliance (CFLA) position itself as a resource, education, and network hub for tanning chemical suppliers, tanneries, and brands to build a better and safer leather supply chain without Chromium.
Currently, more that 80% of leather produced all around the world is tanned with Chromium. However, the tension against using Chromium in leather tanning process has been rising ever since the 'European Union's Directive on End Life Vehicles' mandates the ban of hazardous material in car production of the European market in 2000, and one of the hazardous materials is Chromium VI. Note that chromium turns toxic for people and environment when treated poorly. As a result, high-end car manufacturers opt for chrome-free leather as their leather seat material.
Although the restrictions and control over using and treating Chromium are increasing in China, many tanneries in China don't have access to the right technology to treat wastewater effectively. This is a problem for most tanneries in developing countries such as India and Bangladesh as well. Being the largest leather exporter in the world by volume, China needs to shift their production process fast, and tanneries are looking into alternative chemical solutions such as chrome-free tanning solutions. Nevertheless, the level of awareness and accessibility for resources on how to go ChromeFree within the leather tanning industry, leather goods manufacturer, and brands are still limited.
We first did an extensive research on the best ways to illustrate the ChromeFree future through CFLA's identity. As there are only a few organisations and resources that people can go to to learn more about chrome-free leather, we crafted ChromeFree's identity to center around creating a trusted body that champions for leather education and circularity movement.
Designing a timeliness symbol is an important aspect for any brands who are thinking about creating long-term impact, that includes ChromeFree. The aim is to create something simple, recognisable, easy to understandand, and simply won't go out of style.
For ChromeFree, we anticipate to see ChromeFree's logo to touch the lives of people from all walks of life, for example, on a brochure or on a leather shoes hang tag, therefore it is crucial ChromeFree to have a recognisable and understandable logo. Creating a distinct logo for ChromeFree comes from illustrating what a chrome-free future looks like that is a safe and positive for the environment and link it back to the leather industry.
We blend the two concepts of natural earthy elements and the universal symbol of leather. We experimented by merging natural elements symbols of leaves, water, and soil and frame it with the universal leather symbol that is widely recognised in the world.
When defining visual language of the Alliance, we want to make sure that all of the visual identity elements reflect the personality of the brand and that is humble, confident, and friendly. The color green is an obvious choice to go for because of the circular goals of the Alliance. We chose Sofia Pro, a geometric typeface with a larger height that brings out warmth and humanistic feel to the brand. With the larger height, it makes the type and the content easy to read.
We also made sure to create an identity that is adaptable for consistent usage across different medium such as print, website, and social media. During the design process, we put practical considerations of the identity's visual elements like the size of the symbol and legibility of the word-mark, to make sure that it will stand out and work on any busy product hang tag.
Another consideration in the process is to design a logo that work in multiple colours, bilingual languages (English and Mandarin Chinese) and in different lockups for the Alliance itself and the ChromeFree certified seal symbol.
With its feel good and amiable brand identity, ChromeFree Leather Alliance is certainly has becoming a highly aspirational organisation in the leather industry. The forward-thinking approach on shaping a movement in a traditional manufacturing industry, ChromeFree Leather Alliance is sure to appeal to progressive brands and individual everywhere.