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Understand leather.

Guide to leather making Download fact sheets

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Responsibly made leather is a valuable alternative for oil-based products such as plastics – including PVC and Polyester – adding value to an important renewable material, via efficient and modern processing techniques. Leather Naturally believes that the promotion of sustainably made leathers supports a continuous effort and the development of best practices supporting a circular economy.

Read and download for free all our 11 informative fact sheets, answering all of the key questions you may have about leather.

FAQs About Leather

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about leather. View our FAQs page to view all 10 questions.

Are animals killed for leather?

No, hides come from animals raised for food. This accounts for 99% of the world’s leather.

The main sources of animal hides are cattle – 69%; sheep – 13%; goats – 11%, and pigs – 6%. Their skins are a valuable global resource and, thanks to tanners’ and manufacturers’ skills and knowledge, they ensure this versatile material does not end up in landfill. Current estimates put this at a saving of 7.3 million tonnes for cattle hides alone and around 10 million tonnes in total per year. That is a lot of potential waste being transformed into a versatile, usable material.

Is leather sustainable?

Yes. It converts waste from the food industry that would be otherwise thrown away, to make products we use in everyday life.

  • Leather keeps around 10 million tonnes out of landfill a year
  • Leather is long-lasting
  • Leather products are repairable
  • Leather can be recycled
  • At its end-of-life phase, leather degrades through chemical and biological means
  • The leather industry creates employment and skills for millions worldwide, an important defining factor in sustainability and the circular economy.

What is Vegan leather?

Vegan leather (sic) does not exist. It is a marketing term and any material that is not of animal origin can be labelled as ‘vegan’.

It is important to realise that the ‘vegan’ tag does not necessarily mean ‘natural’, ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’, nor does it necessarily provide the same wear and durability qualities as real leather.

What we do

Leather naturally is a not-for-profit industry members association that focuses on education and the promotion of leather. We promote the use of globally manufactured sustainable leather and seek to inspire and inform designers, creators, and consumers about its beauty, quality and versatility.

This website is a resource that anyone can access to obtain balanced information about the leather industry.