Are We Greenwashing Leather?

For a long time, I used to think that leather was a durable, natural, and ecological by-product material. I argued that buying leather was a harmless choice compared to PVC-filled synthetic alternatives. Little did I know that I was greenwashing leather.

- leather is a by-product material that should be utilized and not thrown away
- leather comes from animals: it should be a more natural commodity and therefore more durable and more sustainable than artificial leather made from petroleum.

However, quick research into the processing methods of leather made me think otherwise.

1. Leather is not just a harmless by-product of the meat industry. The skin is one of the most valuable parts of the animal's market worth. This makes leather inseparable from the meat industry.

2. There is nothing natural in the highly damaging processing methods of leather.

3. There are dozens of alternatives to the synthetic leather made from PVC! New and innovative faux leather options are popping up like mushrooms after a rain!

And then there is preloved leather. Search for leather clothes and shoes from secondhand shops and vintage boutiques. If anything, a preloved leather item comes with all the good qualities of leather and they don't add to the harmful effects of buying it new. 🧡


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