Despite huge potentials and sharp rise in global consumption of synthetic leather goods Bangladeshi producers are far behind due to lack of awareness and familiar with marketing chain.
The country earned about US$ 300 million by exporting synthetic leather goods products especially footwear when its competitors are earning a lot by exporting the same.
Global brands like Hugo Boss, H&M, Decathlon, Steve Madden, Kappa, Skechers, Fila have started sourcing different types of shoes, including sports shoes, sandals, flip-flops and boots from Bangladesh.
The “Synthetic Leather (Artificial Leather) Market by Type (Polyurethane, Polyvinyl Chloride, Bio-based), End-Use Industry (Footwear, Furnishing, Automotive, Clothing, Bags, Purses & Wallets, Sports, Electronics) and Region
The synthetic leather market size is estimated to be USD 63.3 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 78.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 4.4% between 2020 and 2025.
Factors such as growing demand from footwear industry, no animal killing involved, advantages over pure leather, and increasing demand for luxury cars and electric vehicles will drive the synthetic leather market.
The major restraint for the market will be harmful effects of PU and PVC on humans and substitute for synthetic leather in the automotive industry. However, focus on development of bio-based synthetic leather will act as an opportunity for the market.
PU-based leather is generally made using PU and different fabrics. It is made by coating a fabric such as polyester or cotton with a flexible polymer. It is further treated by various processes to look like animal hide-based leather. PU-based synthetic leather is made by using soft polymers, hence does not require additional plasticizers. It offers various advantages such as waterproof, lightweight, and softness. In some cases.
Synthetic footwear can be another billion dollar sector for Bangladesh despite some challenges, which can be resolved through proper initiatives, sector insiders have noted.
The main reason is that the product is cheap and raw materials of the same are available in both India and China.
Higher import duty and complexity in customs-related issues are some barriers pushed backward the sector, industry sources said.