ABOUT LEATHER

WHY IF WE HAVE BEEN MAKING FOOTWEAR FOR MORE THAN UNDRED YEARS, WE NOW MAKE VEGAN SHOES?

There are many factors that go into this decision we made years ago, when we started to manufacture our Bioworld vegan footwear and definitively abandoned leather footwear.
     When we were young we had a high awareness of the importance of ecology for the future and we started manufacturing in leather with an ecological treatment.
     Knowing ecology made us love animals. The ethics of non-exploitation of animals led us to be vegans.
     Sustainable, fair and vegan are the columns of the Bioworld philosophy.
    We explain it further.


LEATHER AND TANNING

Many say that leather is only a by-product, with little value, of the meat industry, but they hide that it is a commercially valuable material by itself. This implies that there are animals that are raised and slaughtered in large quantities to meet the needs of the leather industry.

    Therefore, all the ethical and ecological reasons why a person rejects the consumption of meat and dairy are the same, so we must reject the production of leather for the manufacture of accessories for humans. Ecological reasons, CO2 emissions, extensive industrial agriculture, monocultures, deforestation, river pollution, and moral reasons for raising animals for slaughter are decisive in stopping all this destruction.

     Creating products with alternatives to leather is the solution to avoid all those problems created by the animal skin tanning process.

    PETA offers valuable information on the effect of leather treatment. If you are interested follow this link:

THE LEATHER INDUSTRY: https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/leather-industry/

Also about: Leather: Animals Abused And Killed for Their Skins: https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/animals-used-clothing-factsheets/leather-animals-abused-killed-skins/

And if you want to know 14 Things the Leather Industry Doesn’t Want You to See : https://www.peta.org/features/leather-industry/

ARE THERE ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDS LEATHERS?

We can say that there are forms of leather tanning that are less harmful to the environment than those used by big industry. However, they are still environmentally harmful, although less so than chrome tanning. And also the ethical question remains unchanged in this other type of tanning called “vegetable”.
     Animal skin is an organic material, in order to stop its putrefaction process it is necessary to subject it to a tanning process based on chemical substances, whether they are purely vegetable or chemical.
    Let us not forget, whatever the method of tanning hides, the use of animal exploitation, unethical, breeding and slaughter of animals remains for their subsequent industrial use.
   Apart from footwear, there are other fashion sectors in which leather is not a by-product, on the contrary, it is the main reason for animal exploitation, in some cases the only one.
    Some of these animals, sometimes considered exotic, are raised, like cattle, on specialized farms only for their growth and slaughter. This is ethically reprehensible, unacceptable in the 21st century.

A recommended reading:

tannery pollution management and waste utilization (leather industry series)

ABOUT TANNING WORK

WHY IS LEATHER TANNING POLLUTANT?

   Leather is a part of a living being that, if not chemically treated, goes to a putrefaction process. Tanning is the chemical treatment through which this putrefaction process is stopped. Thus it ceases to be a natural matter.

Tanning has an environmental impact. 20 to 80m3 of wastewater is produced, the equivalent of 20,000 to 80,000 bathtubs on average for each ton of skin processed. However, wastewater is not the greatest environmental hazard created by the production of tanned leather: the real danger of leather tanning results in the release of everything from formaldehyde to arsenic, chromium, lead, cyanide, ammonia, mercury, various pathogens in the environment, causing dangerous levels of pollution and endangering natural life.

Unfortunately all of these substances include carcinogens and other toxins (occasionally banned!) Which are also very dangerous for people who work in the tanning industry. For this reason, approximately 90% of all tanning worldwide is carried out in the poorest countries, where working conditions are worse and environmental regulations are somewhat less strict due to lack of regulation or proper application. The tanning methods used in these countries have such a devastating impact on the environment and human health that it would never be legal within the European Union.

CAN TANNING LEATHER BE A HEALTH HAZARD?

    There are cases when it really is. Hexavalent chromium, a strong allergen, is used in the production of many tanned leathers. Increases in cases of allergy to chrome tanned leather are worrisome. Studies by German state regulatory authorities have confirmed that many leather articles contain levels of chromium salts that can cause allergic skin reactions in sensitized people, such as contact eczema, and that even low levels can cause a reaction in people. hypersensitive. Therefore, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment has suggested improved labeling and the development of alternative tanning methods.

   That has resulted in Chrome VI, the most harmful and concentrated form of chrome used in tanning, having been banned in Germany. As the aforementioned studies show, chromium is toxic and can cause serious allergic reactions even in small concentrations, which remain perfectly legal despite this new legislation!
So let’s avoid it entirely.

CAN TANNING LEATHER BE A HEALTH HAZARD?

    There are cases when it really is. Hexavalent chromium, a strong allergen, is used in the production of many tanned leathers. Increases in cases of allergy to chrome tanned leather are worrisome. Studies by German state regulatory authorities have confirmed that many leather articles contain levels of chromium salts that can cause allergic skin reactions in sensitized people, such as contact eczema, and that even low levels can cause a reaction in people. hypersensitive. Therefore, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment has suggested improved labeling and the development of alternative tanning methods.

   That has resulted in Chrome VI, the most harmful and concentrated form of chrome used in tanning, having been banned in Germany. As the aforementioned studies show, chromium is toxic and can cause serious allergic reactions even in small concentrations, which remain perfectly legal despite this new legislation!
So let’s avoid it entirely.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VEGETABLE TANNING AND CHROME TANNING

Vegetable tanning is known as a more ecological and friendly method for the environment. This type of tanning uses more traditional methods, but today they are used with a mixture of colors also made with modern chemicals, therefore, finally, its consequences are comparable to the other type of tanning, chrome tanning.

On the other hand, it is not true that it is an ecological process, since in reality it has a great environmental impact. Keep in mind that it requires a large amount of resources, a large mass of tree bark, fruit, oak wood, which are used in the process. It requires a huge amount of water, so in reality its environmental cost is very high.
    Given the amount of leather that the industry requires today, it is impossible for vegetable tanning, with all the elements it requires previously exposed, to replace chrome tanning, since it simply would not be economically or environmentally sustainable. Instead, it continues to have a good reputation due to the belief that it is less harmful to the environment than conventional chrome tanning.

LET´S GO VEGAN

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