Leather & regenerative farming
The Savory Institute believes in a more sustainable future through transparency and interconnectedness of the supply chain. Cattle rearing is an essential part of regenerative agriculture, where leather in turn is key in creating value from what otherwise would go to waste. Many efforts towards regenerative practices have been focused on the food industry, yet there is an opportunity to synergize with the apparel, interior and automotive industries, believes the institute.
Soil erosion and degradation is one of the great challenges of our age. As once written by Wendell Berry in ‘The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture’:
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
Regenerative farming is the start for many of the commonly used materials in the apparel, interior and automotive industries. Yet, no part of the supply chain can work alone, and connecting and working on integrated efforts is essential. By connecting the efforts in agriculture towards soil improvement and cattle rearing with the whole line in multiple industries, all the way to the end markets, a real difference can be made. A joint effort can even help shake up consumers who, for example, now opt for sustainable food, but buy fashion items without regard to their origins.
The fact that major fashion brand Timberland has already joined the initiative and committed itself to regenerative farming, is therefore vital. It goes to show that sustainable leather is part of that future where we find a better balance with the earth and its soil that nurtures us and the cattle and crops we utilize.