Leather is plastic-free
Plastic coatings, such as polyurethane or acrylic, are often applied to leather to make it more stain resistant, waterproof, durable or to achieve a specific look, e.g. bright colours, patent, matte or brushed. Using plastic is much cheaper than traditional methods of dying and coating leather!
Leather biodegrades well
The most common method of leather tanning uses chromium salts, which are toxic. When this type of leather ends up in landfills and starts to biodegrade, it leaches chromium and other harmful chemicals into the soil, which are harmful to plants and animals, and can contaminate groundwater.
Leather is more sustainable than vegan leather
Whilst traditional faux leather is just plastic, technology has led us to the point that we now have 100% plastic free vegan leather, called MIRUM. It's made in the USA from natural tree rubber, plant oils, fibres and waxes, and other natural ingredients like leaves, clay, charcoal and quartz.
It's made in a renewable energy powered factory. It requires no water during production and emits no waste water. Testing has proven it to be durable and long lasting - it's already being used by luxury brands like BMW.
It's too long lasting to be classed as biodegradable - but so is a tree. Just as you don't want your wooden furniture to break down whilst you're using it, you want your leather goods to last. It's infinitely recyclable, and when it breaks down it returns nutrients to the soil.
It's so amazing where science can take us. Towards beautiful, quality products that don't hurt animals, people or the environment. Fashion doesn't have to come at the expense of compassion and sustainability. It's about time!