Not that long ago I started thinking about the use of leather in clothes, shoes and accessories and the impact that makes on nature. I had always thought that animal skins and leather, in particular, was a byproduct of the meat industry but I have learned that’s not always the case. Turns out that animal skin, in some cases, is paid more than the actual meat so farmers can potentially make more money out of selling the skin of the animals than the meat. So, purchasing leather goods means feeding the meat industry, that’s why none of the brands featured in Slowtrends uses new leather in any of their products.
I once read that the softest most luxurious leather comes from baby animals that have just been born or even unborn animals that are taken away from their mothers before the gestation has ended. I found it revolting and enough to put me off of animal skin. Besides the cruelty behind the source of the skin, I found that treating that skin before it can be used by the clothing industry was as unethical and unsustainable. They need harmful powerful chemicals in order to sanitize and treat the leather so it can be dyed (which causes pollution in itself) and then applied onto products that we can wear.
The brand I have chosen as an example that it’s possible to find more sustainable and durable alternatives to the animal skin is Beyond Skin which makes their shoes in Alicante. There are many more, but I think Beyond Skin is a good example because their designs and finishes are pretty much like the ones we would find in a high street brand. They have designs for men and women and styles range from very casual, basic flats to heels, boots and even bridal styles.
You can read more about their way of making shoes here and you can also read their explanation to why their shoes are more expensive than the average high street mass-produced shoe, which I found very interesting.
Discover and shop the range HERE.
Photos: Beyond Skin