Leather: ecology and durability.
1- Are cows, sheep or goats raised for their hide?
Not in any case. Leather has been a by-product of our food chain industry since prehistoric times, so while we consume meat, the production of leather remains a way to recycle animal leftovers.
2- Is leather durable ?
Yes. Currently, the impact on its production is very low due to the important environmental controls, such as the re-use of wastewater. Furthermore, due to the high strength and durability of leather, much less waste is generated compared, for example, with equivalent synthetic materials. And last but not least, if the remains generated by the meat industries were not used for the production of leather, there would be a huge surplus of food skins that would directly be a waste.
Modern leather manufacturing recycles around 270 million cowhides a year, around 7.3 million tonnes, that might otherwise go to waste and landfill sites, posing a huge environmental and biological problem. Modern leather manufacturing is safe, compliant and very regulated. In this way leather can be said to be both a sustainable material.
3- Is leather recycled and is it recyclable?
In both cases, yes. On one hand, we turn a skin into a quality material, something that otherwise would be some waste to eliminate. And on the other hand, and so for many years now, and thanks to technology, many materials and compounds have been made with leftover leather that has already been used, for example, to make belts or shoe soles.
4- Is leather biodegradable?
Yes, unlike synthetic plastics that are derived from petroleum, leather is an entirely natural material. Hence, genuine leather, due to the action of bacteria and fungi, decomposes much faster than artificially manufactured ones, which remain much longer.
5- Is leather eco-friendly?
Endorsing all of the above, without a doubt. It is a natural, renewable, biodegradable material and, with the help of new technologies, respectful with the environment, minimizing the impact on the environment.
6- Can materials such as vegan leather, eco-leather, imitation leather, etc. be considered genuine leather?
Absolutely NOT. They are alternative materials with various compositions: polyurethane, plastic agglomerates, polyester, remains and traces of skin … Describing the products with their composition bearing “Synthetic Leather” is a contradiction in itself, and a mere advertising device. It can only be considered as genuine leather when 100% of its structure is entirely of animal origin, a statement supported by the product naming law of many countries.