The impact animal products have on the planet doesn't stop at food.
Animal products used for fashion have a significant impact on our environment.
When we think about synthetic leathers like PVC, we tend to assume that animal leather is the ‘natural’ option. But a 2017 report from the Copenhagen Fashion Summit found that animal leather is, in fact, more damaging to our environment than synthetic leather.
1. Animal leather is bought from the meat industry and therefore pays to support it, therefore animal leather is a co-product, not a by-product.
2. Even when we calculate the portion of the animal that is used for leather only compared to meat, the carbon footprint, water usage, and chemical pollution are still huge.
The Process Of Making Animal Leather
+ Methane emissions from cows
+ Land use, carbon emission, water used to grow the food to feed the cows
+ Toxic chemicals are used in the tanning process
+ Tanning process means the leather will not easily decompose at the end of its life-cycle
“Synthetic leather has only a third of the environmental impact of cow leather. As Kering says in its 2015 EP&L statement, different leathers can have an over tenfold difference in environmental impact based on their type and origin, how the animal was raised, and how the tanning process took place. Switching to alternative materials can directly improve a product’s footprint.”
Apply the same rules to your clothes (synthetic or otherwise) as you would to plastic bottles. Use them as much as you can, reuse them and use them again. Never just throw them in the trash.