Leather & The Environment

Eco leather or Environmentally preferred leather

There are no official features to determine if leather can be classified as an ECO-leather. Typically, this language is marketing or consumer communication versus a real leather type classification. Two key parameters can be defined on the basis of extensive research and industry knowledge that environmentally preferred leather: a. How the leather is manufactured. b. The inputs were used to make it.

Careful research has shown that a significant part of leather’s environmental impact is in the processes of manufacturing, from a hide to finished leather. This protocol was designed as a comparative tool for analyzing tanners ‘ environmental stewardship practices. We believe that isolating one input substance, such as a tanning agent, from a process that uses hundreds of chemical substances is not meaningful in claiming that one leather is preferred to another environmentally.

We believe that assessing the environmental performance of a supplier and providing transparency in leather manufacturing best practices is a significant and meaningful first step that can be supported by the industry. The end use of a leather product determines its requirements for performance and aesthetics. The process and inputs used in the production of suitable leather will be determined by these requirements. There are extensive opportunities to optimize leather processing, and the variations make collaboration with the industry challenging but still possible.

Organic Leather

There is no official terminology. This term is sometimes used for leathers that are not tanned with mineral tanning agents. It is highly ambiguous and has led to the false belief in some quarters that the skins or hides have come from organically reared animals.

Is chrome free leather better than chrome containing leather

These two types of leather have different properties and each have their own market position. Lifecycle analyses have indicated that different tanning agents all have environmental impacts, but different ones. It’s up to individual values to decide which impacts are higher priorities over others. Also, Life Cycle Analysis work has shown that significant impacts occur throughout the leather making process, not just when the article is tanned.

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