This is one sensitive topic! “Leave my shoes out of this!” I might well hear you saying. 👠 Believe me that’s how I felt. I was a leather shoe snob! I’d literally turn my nose up at anything ‘less’.
How about you? Will you join me on today’s blog by taking a break from mainstream thought of butter-soft calfskin totes or a pair of Monsieur Louboutin’s pumps? Or would you much prefer your thoughts stop there? Maybe ignorance is bliss, but then, come on, who wants to be ignorant! 😳
My snobbery was ignorance, and iI think ignorance is snobbery.
I got over myself early 2012 when I wrote a magazine article entitled, ‘Leather Costs The Earth’. (I was then a monthly contributor to GLAM magazine, Qatar’s leading fashion title).
What I learnt through my research was my first exposure to eco-fashion. The starting point to a much deeper understanding of our potential to heal rather than harm.
Let’s read on Brave Heart!
Here’s why the production of leather hurts the workers, our environment, and our fellow animal beings. Although some leather makers deceptively tout their products as “eco-friendly,” turning skin into leather also requires massive amounts of energy, dangerous chemicals and the skins of a once living being.
Arsenic and other toxic chemicals used to process and dye the leather, have long been associated with lung cancer and leukemia in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis.
Tanning is one of the most toxic industries in the world because of the chemicals involved. Chrome and arsenic, known for their cancer-causing abilities, is used in huge amounts as are acids, natrium and ammonium salts.
Yet despite the dangers, workers can still be seen labouring without adequate protective gear and families living nearby tanneries are being recorded with heightened incidence of cancer.
Raising animals for food & their skins is draining our earth’s land, food, energy, and water resources.
Raising the animals whose skin eventually becomes leather requires vast quantities of water, pastureland, (we’re cutting into the Amazon rain forest) and is causing severe water and air pollution.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the runoff from factory farms pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.
As an individual it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when tackling earth’s issues, but to disregard own efforts in supporting ethical fashion would be grossly undermining our ability to make a significant difference.
Let’s be frank; we’re putting vanity and ‘material’ products before the life of someone else.
Intelligent, affectionate and socially complex beings are being killed for their skins. For our frivolous vanity.
Unknowingly many people happily wear leather on the grounds that it’s a by-product of animal slaughter for meat and therefore a form of recycling – waste not, want not.
But don’t kid yourself that the leather industry is a lucrative one.
I’d love to hear your thought on wearing and supporting the leather industry. It is just too tempting to resist? 😈 Or maybe you’re open to changing your buying habits? 🍀
Either way be sure to subscribe to future posts where I’ll be offering some beautiful alternatives!