LHCA reports: “Hides ends up in landfills because of the veg”

LHCA reports: “Leather ends up in landfills because of the veg”

Cunning manufacturers have convinced the public that plastic is green, and tanning is not. And now, in the States, we are seeing an increasing share of hides ending up in landfills instead of tanneries. This is what Steve Sothmann, president of LHCA (the association representing the US leather industry) reports on RFD TV. “When the price of leather was very high, manufacturers looked for cheaper alternatives: they found plastic,” he explains. “They then invented expressions like vegan leather or plant-based leather for materials that are more than 60% plastic. It is a deception to the consumer”.

If US leather ends up in landfills

“For the past couple of years, demand has been weak,” acknowledges the president of LHCA (pictured). “We are seeing raw hides, useful to the tannery and perhaps even of good quality, being sent to landfill”. The paradox lies in the totally nonsensical premise that has led to such a distortion of the market. “The problem lies in the marketing of alternative materials, and the way they are presented to the consumer,” asserts Sothmann. Readers of La Conceria are well aware of how veg antagonists portray their articles as the solution to all the planet’s ills, while they speak of the leather industry as toxic to the environment and the animal kingdom.

What they do not say

The antagonists of tanning are silent, Sothmann objects, on a fundamental detail: theirs are “plastics that take thousands of years to break down into microplastics”. “Leather, by contrast, is biodegradable,” while tanning fulfils a circular role. As the US chronicle shows, animal husbandry continues to produce meat even when the leather market is weak. The president of LHCA looks at the glass half full, if one can say so: “Right now, the price of US leather is as competitive as ever,” he concludes, “for designers and entrepreneurs who want to launch themselves in the sector, it is an opportunity to be seized”.

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