Genuine leather is a natural product. It breathes, stretches and has individual features which make it such a unique product. As it is natural it will have marks, wrinkles, healed scars and veins and depending on type of leather, differing fibre density and structure. These hallmarks do not affect the wearing qualities of leather. As time goes by with normal use genuine leather develops a patina that enhances its natural beauty.
Leather is an animal hide that has hair removed, treated (tanned) to preserve it and then finished with a specific colour and can be also embossed to give it a certain look. Finished (dyed) leather is then manufactured into footwear, clothing, fashion accessories, car upholstery and other products.
Most leather comes from bovine animals, mainly cows but also sheep and goats. Other hides are used for luxury goods such as snake, alligator, crocodile, kangaroo, ostrich, emu, deer and fish. More than 50% of leather is utilized for footwear.
Processing of leather has been a contentious issue over the years, because of some toxic chemicals being used (chromium) in the tanning process.This practice however has declined significantly, especially by modern tanners, who have adopted more eco-friendly alternative processes, such as chromium free tanning, vegetable tanning and even using natural materials such as plant extracts like bark, wood, berries, roots and leaves based on ancient free of chemicals processing methods.
There are tanneries today that use low emission tanning, and all ingredients used in production are either reclaimed, recycled, purified or responsibly disposed.
Leather honours the life of an animal whose hide would otherwise be discarded. Collectively the leather industry reduces landfill waste by billions of dollars annually by diverting a natural by product of the meat industry. Leather is a renewable resource, it lasts longer than faux alternatives and needs to be replaced less often, further reducing waste over the lifetime of the material.