Letter to businesses: non-leather shoes | Viva!

Letter to businesses: non-leather shoes

Write to businesses and ask them to do a non-leather version of your favourite shoe

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to congratulate you on the design of the ________ shoe which is one of my favourite designs this season. Unfortunately however, admiring from afar is all I can do for these particular shoes because you only offer them in leather. I am vegan and do not wear leather.

The UK leather industry is worth billions of pounds each year. An animal’s skin makes up 7-10 per cent of his or her total worth. I avoid leather goods to ensure that I am not supporting the meat industry and the slaughter of animals.

Leather production harms the environment due to the toxic chemicals used during the tanning process. These chemicals prevent the hide from rotting; however they continue to prevent biodegrading long after they have been discarded! The UK throws away two million pairs of shoes every week and most of these remain in landfills unable to decompose.

Most leather tanning takes place in developing countries, where labour costs are low and environmental regulations lax. Some tanneries simply allow their effluent to flow into rivers untreated, polluting fresh water supplies with toxic chemicals. Local villagers, who depend upon the water for washing and drinking, can suffer serious medical problems.

Leather-free shoes are easy to find on every street, even high fashion boutiques now cater for vegetarian customers. I am writing to enquire whether you would offer a leather-free version of the _________ shoe, and to ask you to consider offering more leather-free shoes in the future.

Yours faithfully