Leather is a material almost as old as humanity. A natural second skin to wear that has provided humanity with protection, warmth and elegance for thousands of years. What is the origin of the leather and is this material still up to date?
From the Begining of the Leather
Early humans needed to hunt meat. Even if sustainability was unknown to them, they didn’t waste any of their prey, as the animals could provide much more than food, Horns, claws and hooves that were used as amulets, needles or weapons. Later they learned to use the skin and hair. They found that skins washed in the river with old wood did not rot on the shoulders as others did. They learned how to treat them and turn them into leather. Over time, they became more proficient at drying, salting and tanning, making your new second skin soft, durable and strong against wind and bad weather. This is the origin of the leather as we know it…
The leather comes from the animals we hunt and from the animals we raise for food production (cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits and certain fish), so leather is waste that tanners recover and recycle. The tanning process has evolved over the centuries and has become environmentally conscious as well as safer for tannery workers. The places in the world where processing and working conditions are unacceptable are getting smaller and smaller. The International Council of Tanners (ICT) and all its members reject and condemn these practices which in no way accurately represent the modern leather industry and its products.
Until Modern Times
Something hasn’t changed: human beings still try to make the most of slaughtered animals and avoid wasting their by-products, especially their skins. Today, leather is still a very attractive material. Genuine Leather transports moisture and regulates body temperature, making it comfortable to wear. When a material has great properties, it is bound to be imitated, so beware of counterfeits that use the good name and reputation of leather. These substitutes are not leather and it is illegal to call them leather in EU Member States and elsewhere. Its characteristics do not come close to the performance of leather in terms of breathability, durability, sustainability and beauty.
At FashionLab, we continue to believe leather is a wonderful article who can provide comfort, protection and elegance, reason why we distribute all kind of leathers for the footwear industry.