Ethics concerning leather

Leather crafting is older than Raquel Welch’s bikini in the film 1 million years BC; a lot older in-fact.

Jokes aside, -people, humans, 'us'- have been working with leather for that long, irl  (in real life.)
Straight away some people may be triggered by leather.... Chill a second,     the alternative would involve chocking our oceans with microfibres and being part of why hedgehogs get squashed on the road..

I’m going to keep this page small in writing, so feel free to expand these headings, by clicking on them.

I want to start by saying i am here to change the way we view objects.

The first question would be, "you do clean them don’t you? "
"YES! I do," i spend hours doing just that.

Recycling leather is a process that involves straight bleach and many traditional leather restoring techniques.

I basically have ocd, once i have scrubbed, disinfected and restored, there is  very little difference between the look of my eco leather and full guilt leather.

Lets not forget patina. Age brings new qualities to everyday objects, it really is quite beautiful.
This word patina, means the natural discolouration due to time.
Old leather has a certain patina, when chosen correctly; as beautiful as the paintwork on a 100 year old car that was left in a barn, newly found.
It is John Wayne's saddle.
There are aspects of recycling, that’s about beauty and choice rather than just an exercise in saving the planet.

When you cut out all the rough sections, the pieces you wouldn’t use, there are bits, bits you find that really shine out.

I like to keep some of these patina age features, they scrub up great.

Out of all the plastic found in dolphins, seals and other marine mammals around the UK 84% are microfibres, 16% are microplastics. There is a big difference.
Microplastics are fragments of plastic, that have broken down to a small size.
Microfibers are basically lint. fluff and stuff, belly button fluff, but its no joke, the sea is now a soup with this stuff.

So where do microfibres come from? Microfibre pollution, believe it or not is made by you!
Sure the production of garments produces microfibers, ...... but there are far more washing machines than factories.

It is your washing machine that is doing it. Each year a family washing machine puts out enough plastic fibres to make 100 plastic water bottles. A shockingly high figure.
The water companies should really be there to prevent them getting into the sea.

However microfibers float...  as they do not sink they dont fall to the bottom of sediment tanks so they just float on through.

Surely there should be a law to stop water companies ignoring them... but there is no law so they just let them float straight into the sea.

The fish eat the small crustaceans, that have already eatten microfibres. They have found crustaceans that have eaten microfibers in the deepest place in the sea the marianas trench.
The fish can't help but breathe them into their gills and down into their bellies. the tiny fish full of microfibers gets eaten by the bigger fish also full of microfibers and then we eat the fish.
We are eating microfibers all the time and we dont even realise. It isn't good.

We are on the edge of killing the ocean, we have to act now, failing that, we should at least notice.

What Can I do?

You could write a letter to your member of parliament, like i did asking why this is happening and what they are doing about it. Mention the water companies ....Your letter will be one more in the pile, till it is addressed. A slow proccess, but i promise this is the first most important step.

you should fit a microfibre filter to your washing machine.
Alternatively, there are other products such as the guppy-bag that you put your washing in, then put the bag in the machine, the fibres are caught in the bag, so never get to the system.

What else can i do?

You can tell someone then tell them to tell someone else about microfibres. The quicker humans tackle this issue the better.

Interestingly polyester and man made fibres, may have a higher animal cost, than you first realise.

Hidden animal costs. 
Firstly you need big trucks, driving across the country, squashing hedgehogs and colliding with deer. We can make light of it, but there's a lot of goods transport on the roads, for instance, 50, 000 badgers are run over per year in the UK.

Reels of Polyester need to be made like cotton, so first you need some oil and risk a few oil spill eco disasters.

You need to transport that oil to make the thread, then take the thread to be woven, then take the cloth to be cut and sewn.

During this first time period in a garments life, a shit ton of microfibres have also polluted the oceans, killing fish and marine mammals dead bang.

It doesn't stop there, the finished garments then need to be taken to a distributor and then to the shops. The last journey from the shops to your home is yours.... you may not have run anything over in that time, but you cant be sure the big trucks didn't run over a whole family of ducklings, while the driver didn't notice as he was eating a bacon sandwich, relaxed in his leather seat cover.

A lot of wildlife is effected by air travel - ducks regularly get sucked up into plane engines, if maybe your item came from overseas, remember even thread to sew the items together, may have come from China or somewhere very very not local, like Germany. YKK zips are made in japan.

The ethics of reuse recycle; -or make a new product from scratch, are worth a few moments to think about.



If it can't be reused,  repaired, rebuilt, refurbished or recycled. During a climate emergency, it shouldn’t be in production.

Yes yes yes, we probably do not need to kill an animal to make a couch. But what if all those decisions were already made and the couch was already dead?
Many feel that tribal people eating animals is fine, because they use all of it, totally different to the factory system, which to many is the reason to protest.

So this large couch is left to fade away? taking up a massive area in a hole in the ground, we dug, to put things we don’t need anymore. Of cause we cant just keep digging holes and filling them with rubbish.
if someone were to make the sofa smaller, by reusing it whilst also changing the way we see objects. This is the stage of environmental understanding we are now faced with.

The Ethics:
In a nutshell, when a sofa is thrown away, the next stage after being left in the street is landfill 100% of the time. A sensible moral debate would suggest, the original maker of the sofas moral weight, end the day it is fully decomposed. For some of the elements, like the stapes embedded in wood, this could be way longer than a life time.

If you take an object apart, like nature does, like i do, the decomposition, is sped up...

Wouldn’t it be ideal, if we could just remove all the landfilled sofas of the world? how big a difference to the environment would that make in metric tons?

I can't remove all the sofas from landfill, but I have removed a fair few in my time.

The moral element;
Ethics of a product, end, when it is discarded.
My extra element, extended life, is morality free.
You would have to go pretty far (i haven’t heard a convincing debate yet) to suggest there is any second use morality ethics concerning leather.

Some, now in this eco emergency world we live in,
are saying, that we should work towards a new system, based on morals that we can actually ethically calculate,
I am saying, it may be our duty to the plant, we call home.

I never have and never will, make the same skirt twice. Everyone skirt is entirely, individual.


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