Can leather go green?
Vogue Business investigates the possibilities of leather going green against the backdrop of an all-time high level of interest in vegan alternatives. Leather is making its way back into fashion and is a steadfast choice for automotive interiors, not without reason it turns out. The leather industry is striving to be more sustainable and transparent.
Leaving aside the matter of leather sourcing from a by-product of food production, one of the big concerns with leather has been the environmental impact of its production. To address this, tanners and manufacturers have been working hard on tighter safety protocols, low-impact chemicals and natural methods to process skins and hides in a responsible manner.
A particularly interesting point raised in the article is the way that sustainability is assessed in products. When measuring leather, its cattle-ranching phase is often included. This leaves leather at a disadvantage and may misrepresent it. The EU’s Environmental Footprint Steering Committee has approved assessment guidelines that deem leather a by-product of food production: this ruling will significantly reduce the environmental impact of leather.
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