Animal skins have been used for clothing and other luxury materials since time immemorial.
Over the past few years, animal rights and protection groups have continued to wage a battle against companies that blatantly use animal skins for their fashion brand products.
Currently, animal-free leather products, such as grape-based shoes and mushroom-based handbags, are on the rise.
It is part of the so-called “alternative leather” trend that is said to have taken the fashion industry by storm, paving the way for its popularity and mainstream use.
(Photo: Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)
Contemporary times have made animal-free leather or plant-based leather (leather alternative) increasingly mainstream due to a strong and consistent drive towards sustainable fashion and development, according to The Guardian.
Last week, Dune founder Daniel Rubin’s heritage brand Lerins London launched £130 shoes made from a leather-like material made from grape skins left over from winemaking.
It was also reported that the company used leathers made from apples, bananas and pineapples.
Lerins is just the growing number of companies such as Allbirds, Hermes, Reformation and Stella McCartney that are moving away from the beef industry and promoting plant-based leather.
Read also : You must beware! China leather could be made of dog or cat skin
Hollywood actor and conservationist, Leonardo DiCaprio, and multinational luxury goods company, Kering, the parent company of fashion brands like Balenciaga, Gucci and Saint Laurent, have invested in California-based start-up VitroLabs, as The Guardian reports. .
As an alternative to animal skins, lab-grown leather would be made by cultivating stem cells, as a means of replicating animal skins.
Nevertheless, it is expected to be as strong and reliable as conventional leather.
Since the start of industrialization in the 18th century, humans have increased the use of animal-derived leather to incorporate them into their way of life.
According to the Australian Animal Welfare Organization, Animals Australialeather is everywhere due to the rise of the leather industry, which has taken on the task of producing fashion or accessories, from belts, boots, car seats and key rings.
The organization has provided a list of the most common animals, mostly cattle, from which hides are extracted:
The organization points out that even baby animals, especially calves, would have been considered valuable by the leather industry due to their soft skin.
The best-known methods of butchering animals are castration, branding and mulesing, as well as the process of removing tusks called dehorning.
world animal welfare organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is one of many groups that oppose animal-derived leather and promote animal-free alternatives to leather when purchasing clothing products and other materials.
In the United States alone, PETA pointed out that millions of cows and other animals endure the pain of factory farming without any painkillers.
In some cases, the organization claimed that these animals are skinned even if they are conscious or alive.
With the current rise of alternative leather in mainstream fashion, the animal-free leather industry is still in its infancy and still faces a myriad of challenges to just be a trend.
Related article: Creepy ! PETA Opens “Leather Shop” With Bags Containing Pulsed Organs; Horrified buyers [Video]
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