Leather is widely used material for manufacturing garments, shoes, accessories and home decoration items. It is found that more than a billion animals are slaughtered every year by the global leather industry for making stylish and exclusive leather garments, footwear and accessories. In order to save the animals and create a sustainable environment, it is advisable to switch to eco-friendly and cruelty free leather.
The products such as jackets, coats, pants, shoes, bags, belts, etc. are made from this luxurious skin and universally used by people daily. But, what one forgets is the atrocities the animals face to make these items. Also, it is important to note that such animal cruelty is only done, as there is a huge demand of leather in the global market. So, it wouldn't be wrong to say that decrease in leather demand will directly result into decrease in animal cruelty.
Leather industry is also not an eco-friendly industry. The chemicals used for tanning gives out toxic gases and effluent, which make it a dangerous place for the workers. The modern tanning process use loads of energy, water and chemicals. The processes pollute the land to such an extent that old tanneries land cannot be used for cultivation.
They not only damage the land but also pollute the waterways into which harmful effluents are discharged. Leather is made from cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, ostriches, dogs, cats and kangaroos skin. These animals are killed for meat and skin. Most of the leather comes from China and India where there are no stringent animal welfare laws. Buying leather directly encourages animal killing.
The only solution to end the cruelty done to animals is to stop buying animal fur or things made from animal skin. Fur garment will definitely make an impression. However, one must remember that it has been ripped from live animals. Around 40 million animals are killed every year for their fur that are raised in small, dirty cages and treated inhumanely.
Leather industry is a flourishing industry in itself. Many animals are castrated, dehorned, bled to death, skinned and have tails chopped without using anesthesia for their skin, which is used in making leather garments. So, saying no to leather garments means saving the animals from such brutality. According to a study by New York state department for health, out of all the testicular cancer patients surveyed, 50% or more people worked in tanneries.
With the increasing awareness about cruelty to animals, many people are opting for alternative leather products, to help create a sustainable environment. Artificial leather has become very popular nowadays in the leather market because it looks identical to real leather. Also, it has lot more flexibility and positively effects the environment unlike the leather industry.
Various substitutes of leather such as pleather, naugahyde, vegan leather, barkcloth, cork, glazed cotton, recycled PET polyester, paper etc. are available. Pleather is commonly used to make artificial leather clothing. It is made from plastic material and is less costly and lighter material compared to leather. Products made from pleather are available in variety of colors. Another material used for leather is naugahyde which looks similar to animal skin.
This artificial leather is vinyl coated fabric, with soft texture and appears like real leather. Similarly, vegan leather is another type of artificial leather, which is made from different types of materials like Birikibuc, Kydex, Lorica, PVC etc. It is used to make garments, shoes and accessories. Barkcloth is made from the bark of the trees which are later shaped and flattened into sheets.
Barkcloth is thick, soft and is slightly textured fabric that is obtained from Moraceae trees. Further, cork fabric is obtained from the wood of cork oak tree. The fabric is made from the bark of the tree and has many qualities that make it a suitable option for leather. It is soft, waterproof, dirt and dust resistant and durable. These fabrics and materials are also environment and animal friendly.
Glazed cotton is a high quality polished cotton which is also used as leather alternative. This silk type fabric is normally used for bed sheets, cushions and also for clothing. One can opt for this eco-friendly fabric instead of leather and save animals. Paper is another eco-friendly option for leather. There are number of things made from paper like clothes, bags, baskets etc.
Recycled PET polyester is also used instead of leather. It is a synthetic fiber obtained from recycling used plastic bottles and manufacturing wastes. Hence, it does not pose environmental risks as the leather. Besides, PET polyester can be recycled again. So, to make the environment free from the pollution of the leather industry, one can use products made from recycled PET polyester instead of leather.
Benefits of artificial leather
There are many benefits of using faux leather and many a times it is a better option than real leather. Firstly, faux leather will cost very less compared to genuine leather. It is affordable and looks just like real leather. Secondly, faux leather is manufactured in factory and the main benefit is animals do not go through any brutality during its production. Therefore, one can enjoy cruelty free leather.
Faux leather materials are low maintenance products unlike leather. They do not fade, crack, become stiff and are usually stain-free. Also, as artificial leather is man-made leather; they are available in range of colors and shades. If one wants to have a uniform look, artificial leather is the best option. All the pieces of a certain product made from artificial leather will look the same which is not the case with genuine leather.
Lastly, faux leather is better than real leather when it comes to manufacturing an item. It is easy to cut and sew faux leather and the stitching is seamless. As faux leather is easy to work with, variety of items can made from it. Moreover, using artificial leather is the best way to support animal rights and avoid environmental impacts.
It has become imperative to raise the voice against the atrocities done to innocent animals in the name of leather. Every individual has the responsibility to educate other people about animal cruelty and discourage using leather products. Creating awareness about artificial leather will help to solve the environmental issues and protect animals from cruelty. To gift a safe and sustainable environment to the next generation, one must start using eco-friendly and cruelty free leather.