Leather is a durable and, above all, high-quality material for clothing, shoes, bags and furniture. Production and processing using conventional methods is, however, questionable. We show the alternatives for sustainable leather
Products made of soft leather are high quality and nice to touch. They are often considered the first choice when it comes to buying a new one Handbag or kicks goes. Sustainable leather, organic leather and vegan leather, what's behind it? As is well known, leather is a by-product or even a waste product of the food industry. Sustainable recycling of the durable material is therefore entirely possible.
However, with many products being produced in low-wage countries in our contemporary time, the purchase of conventionally-made leather products is extremely worrying in terms of animal welfare and the environment. The chemical process of tanning also releases many toxins, harming the environment and, first and foremost, the people working with it.
Related topics: Cruelty-free it-pieces: Vegan belts for men and women
Cattle farming for leather production as a CO2 polluter
In addition, leather is no longer just a by-product of slaughtering meat. Meanwhile, 40 percent of the world's slaughter is used exclusively for leather production. Cattle farming is currently one of the biggest contributors to global CO2 emissions. Reasons why many people increasingly want to do without leather products. But what are the alternatives and what are the options?
Sustainable leather and how it is produced
If you want to continue to have genuine leather products, you should make sure that they are produced sustainably and fairly. Of the International Association of Natural Textile Industry (IVN) has developed a strict catalog of criteria for this: For products bearing the IVN seal, the leather is produced sustainably and the production process is transparent. Or you buy leather products as a second hand and some companies even recycle leather products or leather scraps.
Vegetable tanned eco leather
Good to know: Some companies no longer tanned the leather chemically but vegetable. The vegetable tanned leather is considered more organic and contains no toxins. The manufacturers of sustainable sneaker For example, brand Veja uses vegetable-tanned leather. However, one should also keep in mind that plant tanning is resource and time consuming. The tanning process also takes significantly longer, between 20 and 30 months. In addition, a lot of oak and fruit are consumed. Although this form of tanning is gentler on the environment but not quite ideal.
There are also many great vegan alternatives to leather that have nothing in common with plastic-smelling, artificial leather but feel good, are breathable and durable. For example, materials such as pineapple and eucalyptus leaves or cork and rice are sustainable leather alternatives. There is even vegan fake leather made of paper. Other benefits of vegan leather: It is cheaper and also easier to care for than natural leather.
Luxury brands and designers are increasingly turning to sustainable eco leather or fake leather
More and more fashion companies in the luxury sector are using sustainably produced leather or refraining entirely from animal products in their collections. Such as Stella McCartney, which consistently dispenses with animal products and uses only environmentally friendly and sustainable materials. But also traditional brands like Burberry and young fashion companies like Studio Gyzell focus on sustainability and now offer accessories made from sustainable or vegan leather.
Sustainable leather studio Gyzell