Monday, August 08, 2011

WiS #1: leather.

WiS stands for THE question that made me insecure since I started this blog:
What is sustainable? What is sustainability?

Some things seem quite obvious, some answers are not as questionable as others, such as: cotton produced without pesticides is good. or: to use the bicycle whenever possible instead of the car is good. (yes, I just state these and at this point leave out the "because ..." and all potential additional circumstances that would be to consider).

The above product (mypaperbag via Lilli Green) is not, as the name suggests, made from paper, it is made from leather. Associative chain: papebags are more ecofreindly than plastic bags. cottonbags are even more ecofriendly (are they?). What about a leatherbag... can leather be ecofriendly at all?

First I have to say I am not a vegetarian.
Which means that I am ok with eating dead animals, which includes that I am ok with them being killed for ending up as my food. I am concious about it. For me personally this also includes that I eat meat only once every two weeks or so and if, then mostly bio-certified.

Transferring this principle to leather would mean, that I am ok with products made from dead animals skin. Admittedly I love leather. It is a beautiful strong, soft and natural material. And as I consider it very longlasting and a byproduct of "meat-winning" (I use this term as I am explicitly not okay with what is called meat-(mass-)production) it seems to me to have two sustainable aspects:
firstly it stands against throwaway-culture of cheap and sleazy products and
secondly it is part of the efficient and not thriftless and thoughtless use and spoil of the animal.

You might laugh but I mean it - It makes me think about what I learned about native americans when I was a little kid, how they were respectful with and valued nature (and animals) and were thankful for every bit it provided them.

Of course these ideas have some presuppositions: the animal should not be killed for only the leather. the animal should not have suffered from mass-production-conditions, neither during lifetime nor when being transported or killed.

I could only find one label/certificate (by the International Association of Natural Textile Industry (iVN)) that comes close to my ideas, but it rather focuses on an eco-friendly production-process of the leather and health-standarts for workers. It does not say anything about the "production" of the animal or the endproduct made from the leather...

Do you know more?
and what do you think about leather and it's sustainability in general?


Anonymous said...

I love leather.
Many of my bags are made from leather too <3
But I have no shopping bag made from leather
When I used the leather. Sometimes I feel guilty because I know the leather comes from animals.
Have a happy day!

♥ sugarpuff ♥
Pinkie Anggia ☺

Anonymous said...

Hello Jana!
happy you come in my blog..
sure there is, but still rarely :(
I knew a little bit about "green/eco" shopping bag for ACE hardware and shopping bag by Diana Rika Sari
I love the designs!

♥ sugarpuff ♥
Pinkie Anggia ☺

Mine in Istanbul said...

das hab ich kürzlich irgendwo gefunden...hört sich ganz gut an, sind aber nur schuhe...