This week’s topic is all about fair fashion, sustainable production and Who Made My Clothes? – yes, you got it! It’s Fashion Revolution Week. As already mentioned in our previous post, we prepared a few posts on that topic discussing different views and statements and we really want to share that with you. Today’s post is about leather and its production.
Some people keep asking why wearing leather is okay for us although we eat vegan and buy only sustainable clothes. Here the answer straight away: There is a huge difference between first- and second hand leather.
Cheap production nowadays
Let’s start with the production of new leather. Disregarding the fact that it comes from an actual living creature that gets killed just for us having nice clothes, the way the material is produced or made ready to be worn is pretty ugly. Many people state they would rather wear leather than plastic on their skins. Well, true but not entirely. Most leather is tanned by using toxic chemicals like chromium VI or lead or other substances we wouldn’t even recognize by name. Workers in mostly Asian countries have to get in touch with these chemicals, risking their health or even their lives. And these toxics don’t happen to just disappear. In a lot of different leather products from very famous brands scientist found traces of harmful chemicals (source) – and we wear them directly on our skins! It takes a long time for them to disappear or at least decrease.
What is more – yes, we have to mention it again, sorry – innocent animals are killed, often so brutally we have no words for it. So we just highly recommend watching the documentary 37° – Gift auf unserer Haut which you can even find on Youtube.
Why we still wear leather
After all this the outfit photos here are quite questionable – shoes, belt and jacket: Everything out of leather? Yes, even though we eat vegan and know the cheep and harmful production of new leather, reusing old one seems still a legitimate thing to us. But why?
First of all, reusing things that are already on the planet is the best we can do for mother earth. No killing, no harmful production, no shipping from country to country, no CO2, (almost) no energy needed (okay, we have to clean it but that’s it). For us, throwing it away and buying a new, vegan version would be muuuuch worse than using it again. New need of chemicals, new waste of energy, new pollution of air and water. So honestly, using it again is pretty awesome!
What is more, leather is much more durable than plastic and doesn’t become crumbly after some time. There are jackets – forty years old – that still look like on the first day. And even if you dare washing your leather piece (which might not be the most recommendable thing, we’ve tried!) you won’t have micro plastic particles flushing down the pipes compared to your Poly-whatever clothing.
Last but not least: Leather looks good. And if something looks good and is sustainable at the same time – there can’t be anything bad about it!
Diana’s is wearing