Here’s a picture that I took at a warehouse in Singapore. It did about 20% of the world’s wholesale reptile leather tanning. This step is after the skin has been scraped and stretched. It is salted by hand, rolled into a bundle, then stored to dry it out before going into a chemical brining. The skins and workers are imported into Singapore. A common strategy is to keep the workers on short-term contracts and sourced from various remote parts of the world to keep too much knowledge collecting in one place to keep competition at bay. This warehouse did not smell very good. Meanwhile, I got to meet the buyers from Louis Vitton who happened to in town from Paris. There couldn’t be a bigger divide between the French drinking sparkling water upstairs looking at very expensive leathers and the Chinese contract workers grinding through animal parts below.
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