Leather UK recently issued a ‘Global Leather Industry Position Statement on Leather Alternatives’. Supported by various organisations including ICT (International Council of Tanners), ICSHLTA, IULTCS, COTANCE and Leather Naturally, it sets out the key reasons why the sustainability claims of leather alternatives are questionable. It also reiterates that, as a “durable, biodegradable, circular material”, leather is preferable to synthetic materials with – at best – unsubstantiated sustainability credentials.

Key points from the statement include:

  • Leather is a long-lasting, biodegradable material made from a renewable residual product of another industry.
  • Emerging alternatives to leather are largely comprised of fossil fuel-based plastics.
  • The leather industry’s upcycling of a residual material from the food sector reduces greenhouse gas emissions while creating a valuable and versatile product.
  • Little or nothing is known about the performance and composition of the ‘new’ materials or the sustainability of their related production processes.
  • In a recent analysis by the German institute FILK, none of the alternative materials could match leather across all functional performance parameters tested.

While welcoming diversity in the market, the co-signees of the statement object to the “appropriation of the image of leather” and the misleading criticism leather receives. It is a powerful statement and one that One 4 Leather heartily supports.

Read the original article HERE

(With acknowledgement to Leather UK)

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