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31 Jul '16

Is your leather from China? It might be made of dog or cat skin

Posted by Unicorn Goods

Is your leather from China? It might be made of dog or cat skin

According to The Guardian, Americans could be unwittingly buying leather made from dogs and cats.

When American consumers shop for leather goods, it probably doesn’t enter their minds that their new belts, bags or shoes could be made not from cows or pigs but from cats and dogs. But not only is it a possibility, it’s hard for consumers to know what they have been sold.

Read more here.

18 Mar '16

Which is More Eco-Friendly, Fake Leather or Real Leather?

Posted by Unicorn Goods

Pleather

A pair of real leather shoes is at least 2-20x times worse for the environment than a pair of fake leather shoes. Most fake leather is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane. Producing a pound of polyurethane foam emits 3.7 pounds of CO2. Producing a pound of PVC emits 9 pounds of CO2. Producing single pair of real leather shoes, Timberlands for example, emits 22-220 pounds of CO2 per pair

Real leather is far worse for the environment than fake leather, by carbon footprint alone.

This doesn't even take into account the toxins involved in the tanning process for leather. Most tanneries use chromium, a toxic carcinogenic, in the tanning process. Not only is this element still present in the final product, but it's also dumped into the surrounding ecosystem. And the waste from vegetable tanning, which often contains lethal bacteria, can be just as bad.

For both real leather and fake leather, there are companies doing the process better. You can buy bags made from recycled materials, reclaimed materials, and from factories with better ethics. But in the end, if everything the same (which it's not), would you rather kill something or not? Go for the fake leather.

Sources: Whether the Leather be Pleather, The Green Lantern, Slate | Six Products, Six Carbon Footprints, the Wall Street Journal

14 Mar '16

Is it time to give up leather?

Posted by Unicorn Goods

Leather tannery, The Guardian

The Guardian just came out with this awesome piece about the leather industry that explores whether or not we should be wearing leather nowadays. As this article points out, "...with so many synthetic materials available today, there’s no need to wear leather at all.” We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Here are some great factual excerpts.

Presently around 290m cows are killed every year from a global herd approaching 1bn. Projections tell us that in order to keep us in wallets, handbags and shoes, the industry needs to slaughter 430m cows annually by 2025.

[T]he Brazilian cattle industry (with around 200m head of cattle) [i]s responsible for 14% of the world’s annual deforestation.

Here's a look into a leather tannery. Take a peek:

Read more here.



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