Can leather be environmentally friendly?

Most of us wear leather in one form or another – shoes, belts, handbags, notebooks, dog leashes, key fobs and more.

Tanning methods vary by manufacturer, but did you know that there are eco-friendly methods of producing leather from raw hides?

The first of these is vegetable tanning. Using vegetable tannins obtained from the bark and trunk of trees such as chestnut and mimosa (which themselves are the by-products of the wood-working industry), hide processors can create leather that is natural and virtually chemical free.

Another eco-friendly method uses leather scraps to create durable bonded leather. Using shavings or leather scraps that are typically land filled, leather manufacturers add a natural latex bonding agent to the scraps to produce an eco-friendly product that looks, feels, and smells like a full hide.

And the best part of all? When your favorite leather shoes or jacket finally wears out, it will biodegrade into non-toxic components if it’s land filled.

Sounds like an eco-friendly choice to me!

One thought on “Can leather be environmentally friendly?

  1. There is another aspect to this. Leather is longer lasting than plastics.

    I still have and use my original coach leather binder from 1989. Giving it proper care keeps it looking nice and not disposing of it in all this time makes it a greener product than many others.

    Leather also ages better than vinyls. Vinyl is more easily affected by time and conditions. Eventually, it can crack, which means it is time to let it go. that will happen more often with vinyl than with well cared-for leather products.

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