FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS TO US

  • Q. Why has Leatherina chosen leather as its primary raw material?

    Leather is an organic material which comes from a natural animal source and one that is aesthetically beautiful, long lasting and extremely versatile. The appearance of good leather does not deteriorate with age, instead it acquires a mature and finer character – thanks to the refined patina that it develops over time, and with use. Leather is also comfortable to the touch which makes it a desirable texture for use in personal items with which we have close contact. It is also easy to maintain and as a material, does not absorb its surrounding odours easily.

    On the other hand, comparative or competing materials, for instance synthetic leather is a type of converted plastic that is not eco-friendly and remains a threat to our environment and the planet due to its inability to biodegrade.

  • Q. How do you ensure your leathers are cruelty free?

    Leatherina creates all its products from leathers finished in Bangladesh. As the leather tanning industry in Bangladesh is wide and diverse quality of sources exist, we are strict about our traceable sourcing rule. Traceability ensures that we collect leather from responsible and fully compliant tanneries who source their major stock of hide during the country’s religious festival, Eid-ul-Azha, when millions of livestock animals – mostly cows, goats and sheep – are sacrificed as ritual.

    These animals are raised by small traders, mainly individual rural households who care for and raise them with a great deal of care for milk production and agricultural work. Majority of the animals are grass fed and allowed to roam freely and are slaughtered later at an advanced age, for their meat. While commercial raising of cows is a small fraction, goats are not commercially raised at all, and we can be confident that cruelty in animal farming, if at all present, exists only at a bare minimum. Some sources indicate that 90 percent of farm animals in Bangladesh is hand raised and not industrial.

    Therefore, leather is a by-product of Bangladesh’s farming culture and food habit, and facilitates upcycling because these hides, if they were not tanned for production, would have to be burnt or buried for disposal. Leatherina by its strict policy never uses the softer Nappa leather that comes from calves, in its production to ensure that the cow has lived a natural course of life.

  • Q. How do you ensure sustainability in your material sourcing process?

    Leatherina strives to keep itself aware and knowledgeable about the developing conditions in the leather sector of Bangladesh. Our team regularly goes to visit tanners and other suppliers to check and verify the conditions of their operations, the management regularly interacts with the suppliers to ascertain their awareness about their environmental impact, and ensures that suppliers are fully compliant in their certifications.

    Sustainability of our materials sourcing process is achieved through rigorously applying our market information and sector knowledge in selecting our suppliers and materials. We further ensure sustainability through using recycled material especially our own leather scrap, as well as upcycled textiles especially for the inners and trims of our bags.

  • Q. What attracts brands and buyers to source their leather products from Bangladesh?

    Bangladesh’s leather industry is well established and ranks second in the country in terms of export earnings. Because of its high value-addition potential and significant employment opportunities, the leather sector has been declared a priority foreign exchange earning sector for the country. The leather sector in Bangladesh includes 200 tanneries, 3,500 MSMEs, 2,500 footwear making units and 90 large firms. The sector generates direct and indirect employment for about 850,000 people, where 53 percent of the workforce are women workers.

    Bangladeshi leather is special for its beautiful grain pattern and recognized among leather enthusiasts worldwide. The availability of raw materials is the biggest strength of the sector. The sector has tremendous potential to grow by utilizing abundant readily available local hides and finished leather of various styles and qualities.

    Bangladesh has huge number of highly skilled and semi-skilled workers who have been working in the readymade garments (RMG) and apparel industry for decades and they are easily retrained to work in the leather goods manufacturing industry. Availability of abundant and economical manpower, business friendly infrastructure, legacy of being a long-term supplier of RMG has encouraged many international brands come to Bangladesh for leather fashion goods sourcing after China and India.

    As Bangladesh’s RMG sector has flourished for the last three decades, its leather industries can reap added benefits from it in terms of skills and export experience; and as RMG has brought many leading brands directly to the country, their presence will be beneficial to encourage them to diversify their orders from sourcing apparel to include or create their own brand of leather accessories. The growth of textiles and RMG sector can actively support the growth of leather and allied industries like footwear and other leather goods.

  • Q. What are Leatherina’s restricted materials?

    Leatherina rejects all raw materials that come from or have any linkages to inhumane sources or working conditions. As mentioned above, we do not use Nappa leather of calves in our leather products. Additionally, our items do not apply any zardozi, a form of embroidery that employs young, underaged hands.

    We fully discourage the use of plastics except in the case of rare, unavoidable cases of reinforcement or trim both of which are long-lasting. We do not utilize single-use plastics. For our plastic packaging for overseas sea shipments we are actively searching for alternative, more environmentally friendly options.

  • Q. How do you control your production quality?

    The advancing development of our business is fuelled by our continuous efforts to ensure and enhance the quality of our products. We have built our quality control system to look after the intermediate products at various steps of our production to ensure that the final production meets the requirement set by the buyers, and minimal rejected goods result from the process.

    Leatherina has a separate dept for quality checks from sourcing, cutting, to finishing of final bags on our production floor. We have formulated our own quality manual that all staff regularly refer to.

  • Q. How long have you been in the export market?

    Leatherina has been an exporter of leather products since 2017, and has sold products in the local market for a year prior to that.

  • Q. What is Leatherina’s production space and which machineries does it have?

    Our factory is established on 3,500sq ft of floor space with the availability of high-capacity power supply, and a range of various modern specialized machineries to make bags and other leather items. Our handcrafted bags are made with the help of cutting, skiving, roller-pressing, splitting, ironing and sewing machines – we have flat, vertical post, and cylinder beds –most of which were imported from Italy and China.

  • Q. What are your areas of specialization?

    Leatherina focuses on bags, especially ladies work and business bags, plus other essential bags for youth and men. We have complete capacity to produce other small leather goods – wallets, pouches, belts, keyrings – and personal accessories like folders and attaches of leather, other natural materials and fabric.

  • Q. How many employees do you have? What is Leatherina’s production capacity?

    Our production unit consists of 55 workers, supported by eight personnel in administration and trade service. In addition to this permanent workforce, we can increase capacity by 30 percent in cases of time-sensitive large orders; we maintain a pool of enlisted experienced workers who can be hired on demand.

    We have the standard capacity to produce 3,000 pieces of medium to large bags each month, with the option of going up to 5,000 pieces.

  • Q. Do you work with exotic skins?

    Exotic skins like crocodile, lizard, ostrich and others are prohibited by law and therefore cannot be used in production.

  • Q. Do you guarantee prototyping results?

    While we guarantee our best efforts in producing a prototype, due to the unpredictable nature of the process, we cannot guarantee the outcome. However, we apply our and our suppliers’ years of experience and all available resources to deliver your leather solution just the way you want it. Our facility will be available for adjustment in making brand samples at 2X product price if needed

  • Q. What is your minimum order quantity?

    Leatherina has generally worked with minimum order quantities (MOQ) of 500 to 1,000 pieces depending on the size of the bags.

    While MOQs serve a very critical role in ensuring production quality and consistency, and ensures financial feasibility of our transaction, we understand that it is not always possible for all our customers to meet those production MOQs. This is especially true if it is a new brand we are interacting with, and we do not know exactly how the market will receive the product(s). We, therefore, try our best to be as accommodating as possible on our minimum order quantities, and the MOQ therefore is largely decided by the size of the item and type of product. Due to Leatherina’s small size, we are able to maintain a high degree of flexibility for our buyers in terms of MOQ. If you let us know about the order quantity that is most convenient for you, we will plan and collaborate with you to make it work for both parties.

    Apart from production MOQ limitations, a key consideration for its imposition is freight costs. The larger the order quantity, volume and weight, the proportionately more economical it is per unit to ship internationally and therefore it is advisable to order the largest possible quantity to make it cheaper on landed cost basis.

  • Q. How do I place an order?

    Please call or contact us and let us know the leather products of your interest. We will send you a Pro-forma Invoice quoting you our best prices based on the ordered quantity and your preferred shipping method. You can sign this Pro-forma Invoice and fax or email it back to us. You can also fax or email your Purchase Order based on this Proforma Invoice.

  • Q. What is the required lead-time for delivery for bulk orders?

    The production lead time depends on the ordered quantity. However, most of the orders are shipped within 6-8 weeks of order confirmation. For larger and repeat orders a shipment schedule can be negotiated and established well in advance.

  • Q. What leather categories do you work with? What are the colour and print options available?

    Leatherina works with cow, goat, sheep and a small proportion of buffalo leather. The finished leather can be printed, plain, soft or stiff per the requirement of the buyer, and is accordingly finished at the tannery during the time of material sourcing.

    We can produce almost any colour matching to your colour shade specifications. You can email and ask for the print pattern guides available with our leather suppliers.

  • Q. Do you have a catalogue?

    Yes, please check our products page. We have a large selection of readymade products to choose from. Learn more and inquire about wholesale leather goods opportunities <here>.

  • Q. How can I order for a product sample? Can I submit specifications for my custom product?

    We produce samples for all interested potential buyers through an easy ordering process. If you are interested to create a sample of your design, send us the design, artwork or a chosen actual hard copy of the item you would like us to produce.

    The sample prototyping process follows our costing and payment terms from our <Get a Quote> page. Upon receiving the sample order, we will send you our prototypes within an agreed timeframe. The sample production costs generally are 3X to 5X of actual item cost and does not oblige you to place a mandatory order

  • Q. Is my proprietary information protected? Do you sign non-disclosure/non-compete agreements?

    We respect your right to your proprietary information and ensure its confidentiality. We are glad to sign any non-disclosure and/or non-compete Agreement before you reveal any confidential information to us.

  • Q. What is the turnaround time for prototyping?

    The turnaround time essentially depends on the availability of the requested materials and therefore the typical turnaround time on prototyping is 2-3 weeks.

  • Q. What is your charge for proto sample?

    The sample production costs generally are 3X to 5X of actual item cost and does not oblige you to place a mandatory order.

  • Q. Can I order my signature lining material?

    Yes, we can have your signature textile lining materials produced subject to minimum order quantity (MOQ). The typical minimum order quantity for signature lining material is 3,000 meters.

  • Q. Can you arrange for my custom hardware?

    We have enlisted suppliers on hand who can custom-produce your hardware, we have well established relationships with hardware vendors in China and Hong Kong for such supplies.

  • Q. Can I order my customized lining and other trims?

    Yes

  • Q. What is your preferred incoterm?

    Leatherina’s preferred incoterms are EXW or FOB.

  • Q. What are your payment terms?

    Our Terms of Sale require payments be made using one of the following three options:

    For orders with ex-factory value under US$ 10,000: 100 percent deposit at the time of placing order. US business checks and Wire Transfers are accepted. The customer is responsible for Wire fees incurred at origin.

    For orders with ex-factory value between US$ 10,000-US$ 25,000: 50 percent deposit at the time of placing order and balance payment before/at ship date. All payments need to be cleared before goods are shipped out. At our discretion, we may extend flexible terms to our long-time customers based on their payment history and credit worthiness. Only Wire Transfers are accepted. The customer is responsible for Wire fees incurred at origin.

    For orders with ex-factory value over US$ 25,000: 30 percent deposit at the time of placing order and balance payment to be made before or by the ship date. All payments need to be cleared before goods are shipped out. We will also accept a confirmed Irrevocable Letter of Credit at Sight issued by a reputed international bank. All bank charges incurred will be to buyer’s account.

  • Q. What payment methods do you accept? Can I pay by credit card?

    For wholesale orders with Leatherina, we accept Business Checks, Cashiers’ Checks, and Wire/TT Transfer methods of payment. For larger transactions, we accept Escrow, and Letter of Credits brokered by a reputed international bank. Personal checks and Credit Cards are not accepted.

  • Q. What is pre-shipment inspection?

    Pre-shipment inspection of goods is carried out during or upon the completion of production of the goods. Even though all our products are backed by our 100 percent guarantee for quality or adherence to the specifications, a buyer may still want to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect before shipment leaves our factory. In that case, the buyer has the option of pre-shipment inspection by a third party.

  • Q. Who carries out the inspection and who pays?

    Pre-shipment inspections are generally performed by contracted private organizations. One such internationally reputed agency is SGS. A buyer has an option of engaging them for a pre-shipment inspection, with all expenses incurred by such inspection to be borne by the buyer.

  • Q. What is post-shipment inspection?

    Since we guarantee all the products we sell, you also have an option of carrying out post-shipment inspection of goods upon receiving the goods. We allow you seven days after the goods have been delivered to inspect the goods carefully and inform us of any defects or discrepancy. We replace or compensate you for the defective goods on your next order. This costs you nothing yet gives you peace of mind, same as a pre-shipment inspection.

  • Q. Give us a general overview on freight and shipping services available to export goods worldwide.

    Shipping costs depend on the Gross Weight, Volume of the shipment, and port of destination. Shipping cost from Bangladesh typically ranges between 5 to 18 percent of the merchandize cost.

  • Q. What shipping methods are available?

    There are three shipping methods available from Bangladesh:

    Ocean Freight: This is the most economical way of shipping goods but takes about 45-60 days for US/Canadian destinations and 30-45 days for European destinations. This option is ideal for large shipments that are not time sensitive.

    Air Freight: This option is the most widely used option ensuring low shipping costs with faster deliveries. This method costs more than Ocean Freight but substantially less than Air Express. The lead time is typically 7-12 days depending on the carrier.

    Air Express: This is the fastest shipping method with high shipping costs. The advantages of this option include door-to-door delivery with inexpensive and hassle-free Customs clearance. This is a good option for time sensitive and relatively smaller shipments. The deliveries take about 3-5 days.

  • Q. Who are your workers? What is your policy on recruitment of workers?

    Leatherina’s workers are majority women (60 percent). These women live near our factory , and are rural-to-urban migrant workers from different parts of Bangladesh. Most workers are unskilled, and Leatherina invests in skilling them at the beginning of their employment, and continuing their training throughout the course of their employment.

    Leatherina employs some senior artisans who are highly trained and have long experience in the industry. The age profile of Leatherina’s workers is young as the youth are committed, trainable and adaptable. Leatherina maintains 18 years as the minimum age for recruitment but we follow the regulations and child labour policies of the government whereby non-hazardous work may be offered to workers younger than 18 years.

    Leatherina practices non-discrimination in its hiring policy, although most worker roles are fulfilled by women who generally occupy the category of semi- or unskilled workers. We never employ child labour or engage in any form of forced or bonded labour. We follow the approved and internationally acclaimed rules and guidance in recruitment.

  • Q. What is your wage structure?

    We follow wage board rules set by Bangladesh government. We ensure minimum wage and we set our goals to provide a ‘living wage’ to all our workers by the year 2025.

  • Q. How do you ensure workplace safety?

    We strive to comply with the regulations for fire and earthquake safety, of the Government. We also follow the guidelines and compliance standards recommended by the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) and the Bangladesh Fire Service.