Is Leather Sustainable? Why Synthetics are a More Responsible Alternative
Leather is everywhere in the outdoor industry: boots, bags, climbing shoes, even decals and zipper pulls on backpacks and jackets. But why? For ages, leather has been the material of choice for sturdy, “natural,” durable gear that lasts. But now that other materials are available, do we really need leather? And is leather sustainable? While many in the industry would say yes, citing that it came from nature and will eventually biodegrade back to nature, leather is far from natural and neither sustainable nor environmentally responsible. But how does it stack up against competitors and substitutes like synthetic materials and faux leather? We’ll break it down and take a look at why you might want to ditch leather.