Why Use Leather?
We often discuss the benefits of using real leather. But why choose real leather? And is it really better than using a PU-based alternative?
There is a lot of contradictory information out there regarding the use of leather. The most misleading is the recent movement to rebrand synthetic PU alternatives as, ‘Vegan Leather’. For starters, Leather is a by-product of the meat industry and only a genuine animal skin can be termed as Leather. To call something, ‘vegan leather’ or ‘PU leather’ or even ‘synthetic leather’ is not just misleading but incorrect since these products do not contain any trace of real, natural leather.
But what makes using real leather better than the alternatives?
Well, to begin with, the skins are already in circulation. As a by-product of the meat industry, the skins are a secondary commodity and have no value at this point and no carbon-footprint. It is estimated that approximately 480 million square meters of hide is wasted each year. By utilising these skins, upcycling them and turning them in to leather, we are preventing these skins from going to landfill or being incinerated and creating something that is strong and durable and will last.
Leather is far more durable than any synthetic alternative. Most of these alternatives simply start to degrade within a short period of a couple of years, succumbing to environmental elements causing them to crack and peel. Often these cannot be restored or repurposed. At this point, many fashion articles are discarded. Since, these alternatives are manufactured using petroleum-based plastics, not only does their production produce toxic compounds but they do not degrade in the same way as natural leather, which has a decomposition rate of 25-50 years as opposed to synthetic PU alternatives that can take in excess of 500 years to degrade, often shedding microplastics in the process.
What about the more ‘natural’ leather alternatives like ‘Leaf Leather’?
As previously mentioned, alternatives such as leaf, mushroom and even grape cannot be classified as leather. Moreover, these are mixed or coated with synthetic resins and plastics in order to reinforce them and add durability.
So, with all this in mind, what will you choose?
For us, the choice is clear.
Use Real Leather.