SLAY – A Balanced View

Do you have questions about the film Slay?

The film Slay makes some startling claims about the leather industry, but are they true? In order to address some of the questions that viewers have, Leather UK has summarised the issues and balanced them with the facts around leather production that are so often misunderstood and misrepresented.

It explains that:

  • Leather is a by-product that if not used will be thrown away and wasted.
  • Water use in leather making is too often over-estimated. One leather hide takes around 600 litres of water, one pair of shoes around 44 litres – very different from the numbers quoted in the film.
  • It is not better to put hides in landfill rather than use them, Slay unfortunately bases an assertion that it is better to throw hides away on a flawed calculation, which quite seriously leads to the wrong conclusion. There is a separate report on that calculation here.
  • Leather does not drive deforestation. As hide and leather production does not drive livestock rearing, livestock production would continue even if no leather was made. The lack of influence that the leather industry has on upstream livestock practices has been recognised by the WWF.
  • ‘Faux leather’ is plastic and derived from fossil fuels. Using it instead of leather does not stop livestock being raised for meat, and this is before all the issues with faux leather around fossil fuel inputs, lifespan and disposal at end of life. Faux leather is plastic with all the problems inherent with that.
  • The piece also sets out a reasoned explanation of chemical use, leather alternatives and a case that while every industry should be subject to scrutiny, media productions such as Slay add nothing to the conversation and do help consumers better understand leather.

The complete piece can be read here.