Leather often gets a bad wrap, let's talk about why.
Fashion revolution week is here, and we want to take a couple of minutes to talk to you a little about leather, and where it all belongs in the movement for ethical fashion and sustainability.
I often tell customers that the last time a burger is eaten in America will be the last day that I use leather in my products. Leather gets a bad wrap for a couple of reasons. The main one being that cows are a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions because of the amount of methane cows produce.
We cannot deny that farming has a major impact on global warming. But a large percentage of all cows are raised to be consumed as a meat product. Leather in the USA is almost entirely a byproduct of the meat industry. This means that as long as there are steaks and burgers at your local restaurants, cows will be raised for meat.
If we continue to consume cows, then doesn't it make sense to use the entire animal? If their skins weren't turned into leather, they would likely end up in a landfill, which I find truly heartbreaking.
I also want to take a second to talk about some exciting things happening in the leather industry. I have recently read articles about a lab in the USA who is currently working to grow leather from cow stem cells. (It sounds like growing meat is in the works too!) Although it seems to be early in the process, the lab is very confident that they will be able to do this successfully and start selling to the leather buying public in the next 5 years.
My dream is to be able to switch my raw goods over to a leather grown in a lab, which would cut back on my carbon emissions, and therefore my companies footprint. It would also mean that no animals had to be harmed in the making of my bags and accessories!
So although it's not a perfect process, I do think it is important to point out that if you are purchasing your leather in a country that consumes meat, the leather is almost always a byproduct of that industry.
Thanks for checking in! I will be talking about "vegan leather" tomorrow on here!