Rachel Garwood has 30 years’ experience working in the leather industry. During this time she obtained her BSc in Applied Biology with analytical techniques (2.1) and MSc in Leather Technology (Distinction). From 1989-2008 she worked for BLC Leather Technology Ltd undertaking several roles on an international level including problem solving for tanners, management of EU research projects, business development and finally technical support and training throughout the leather supply chain, working with brands such as Next, Burberry, Mulberry, Radley, Clarks and Alfred Dunhill.
In 2008 Rachel joined The University of Northampton (UN) as a Senior Lecturer within the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies (ICLT) and became the Director of the Institute in 2011, reporting directly to the Acting Dean for Science and Technology. Current responsibilities involve the overall management of ICLT including people management, budget management, business development, international relationships/collaborations, course development and lecturing at all levels.
Rachel is a Fellow of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists (SLTC) and a Trustee for both the National Leather Collection and Leather Conservation Centre.
Field leader for Leather
Programme leader for Leathersellers’ Certificate (level 4)
Module leader for :
- LEA2012 Fashion with leather
- LEAM019 From Hide to High Street
Rachel also co-ordinates several CPD courses to students and industry.
Rachel has been involved in several publicly funded research projects during her career.
- 2014-16: EU funded project looking at the development of the Vietnamese domestic footwear market to meet European requirements and hence increase exports.
- 1997-98: DTI funded project looking at different market structures for sheepskin and bovine raw material world-wide. The aim was to identify the most stable system encouraging quality which could possibly be incorporated within the UK. This involved visits to hide and skin markets in Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and UK concluding in a final report.
- 1995-97: EC funded project coordinated by the Spanish research group AIICA entitled “Optimisation of Hide Manufacture”. The role of BLC within the project was to investigate the effect of enzyme addition to a specified hair save process.