Write to your local newspaper
Write to your local newspaper regarding the environmental damage caused by leather production.
Dear Letters Editor
Many people view leather as a ‘natural’ material because it is made using animal skin. However, numerous toxic chemicals are added to the leather during production to ensure the leather will not decompose. The UK throws away two million pairs of shoes every week, many of these are leather and sit in landfills unable to biodegrade. Not so natural now, is it?
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.
Another excuse often used to justify the use of leather is that it is a by-product of the meat industry. However, 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. By buying leather goods you are supporting the meat industry and the slaughter of animals.
Viva! has recently launched a campaign against the use of leather, to read their report, find out more about leather production, and to see a list of leather-free stockists please visit www.thebigcoverup.org.uk.