Luxury leather goods industryThe leather goods industry as it has developed in recent years plays an important role in global trade flows. Furthermore, France is one of the leaders in this market. The trade balance of French leather goods, in other words, the difference between exports and imports, was indeed positive for the year 2019. Imports amounted to approximately 3.5 billion euros, compared to exports worth around 8.5 billion euros.
For French luxury companies, such as Hermès, leather products are an important source of income. In 2019, half of the group's sales were generated by leather goods and saddlery. The history of this prestigious house is in fact closely linked to leather: originally, Hermès sold only leather saddles and harnesses for horses. At the beginning of the twentieth century, with the appearance and more widespread access to passenger cars, Hermès extended its activities to the production of travel goods, such as leather handbags and suitcases.
Made in FranceThe French luxury leather goods sector has a strong international reputation, and French products are known for their high standards. The tradition, heritage and know-how of the leather goods industry have indeed made France one of the leading countries for the production of leather items: in 2018, almost one person out of five around the world thought that France was the best country in the world for manufacturing luxury handbags and shoes.
While the fact that these leather goods are made in France is indeed a major vote of confidence, it is also because of their connection to sustainability issues. With the development of sustainable fashion, French consumers are indeed favoring products made in France, even if it involves higher expenses. In 2019, their average annual budget for the purchase of sustainable leather goods was 172 euros.