Here we go again. Online magazine Euronews published a piece on its Living portal regarding materials for the fashion industry. The title: “Animal, plant, or plastic based: which leather should you choose?”, already leads to the direction of the writing. The (rhetorical) question is whether the materials alternative to natural leather are preferable. The arguments used though, are (not surprisingly) illogical: the aouthors are clearly confused and wrong regarding the industrial chain, sustainability, and chemicals. For this reason, Cotance, the Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community, along with Leather UK and Leather Naturally, ask the Community’s authorities to bring justice and to Euronews to rectify the story.
There is something wrong
“The statements made regarding climate change are quite inaccurate, writes Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, Secretary General of Cotance -. It seems like they got their facts from the United Nations’ report (Livestock Long Shadow, 2006), which today carries no weight whatsoever”. As demonstrated even at the last World Leather Congress, “the environmental impact of the livestock industry is far smaller than that of the transportation industry – continues Mr. Gonzalez-Quijano -. Moreover, the livestock industry isn’t controlled by the leather segment, as demonstrates the growing meat production and the decrease in demand for raw hides for the tanning industry”.
Chemicals and alternative
“The authors lack the understanding of how chrome-based chemicals work – continues Cotance’s secretary general -. The leather industry only uses Chrome III, which when properly implemented doesn’t expose workers or consumers to any risk. ECHA (European Union Chemicals Agency) and the EPA (Environment Protection Agency), classified Chrome III as non-carcinogen. The reference to Chrome VI is irrelevant, because tanneries don’t use it”. As if this wasn’t enough, Euronews discusses materials alternative to leather not just by diminishing their truly critical aspects in terms of sustainability, but by also definindg them as Leather. “But one cannot talk about leather when referencing materials created from vegetables or plastic – concludes Mr. Gonzalez-Quijano -, as leather is solely the material taken from the processing of animal remains”.