Many have argued that leather is a by-product of the meat industry, but uncomfortably in the case of some animals, meat is the by-product. Animal skins used for clothing and accessories are loaded with caustic, toxic chemicals that prevent the skins from decomposing – the very opposite of what we expect from an organic resource.
Many don’t realise that an animal hide needs to be treated in order to prevent it from naturally decomposing. According to Scientific American, the tanning of leather is one of the top 10 pollution problems in the world, directly affecting a shocking 1.8 million people – a pretty epic stat! Hides are tanned using a cocktail of dangerous chemicals, which produce gallons of waste with a high concentration of pollutants.
The facts highlight that leather is a significant drain on the world’s resources, not to mention the questionable methods of animal slaughter in developing countries with little or no regulations. As an industry it seems to have a poor level of responsibility for its damaging environmental impact and the repercussions, as information around leather production and traceability is conveniently suppressed. The environmental impact and worker conditions is information that is not often available on the labels of fashion items, or even on brand websites, so much of this damage is going unnoticed.
In comparison, vegan leather requires no grain to be watered and harvested for feed; no animals to be reared and then slaughtered; it is not a major contributor to water pollution, requiring only the land of the factory used to produce it. Synthetic materials have also come a very long way since PVC, and manufacturers are always upping their game, innovating ways to improve sustainability. As vegan leather will always be tied to textile technology, it will always be reducing its environmental footprint.
As an ethical fashion brand, we embrace innovation and so will always strive to be at the forefront of sustainable and ethical fashion without compromising on quality and style.
We think that not using leather is a modern and at times a daring choice.