Leather has always been an item that has courted controversy, particularly from animal rights activist and in recent years, environmentalist. However, despite a lot of claims by those pushing faux leather, as most synthetic leather at the moment contains plastic, there are serious arguments regarding just how eco-friendly it actually is.
One alternative to both traditional leather and synthetic leather that could provide the answer to an eco-friendlier version of this versatile material is vegetable-tanned leather. To give you an idea of why some companies are choosing to stock leather belts, bracelets and other garments and accessories made from vegetable-tanned leather, we have highlighted some of its main benefits below.
Healthy and Eco-friendly
One of the major problems with the most commonly used synthetic leather is its plastic content. This means that when a garment or accessory made from PU leather is no longer usable or wearable and disposed of, it is not biodegradable and therefore just sits causing pollution on a landfill. Vegetable-tanned leather, on the other hand, like the more traditional leather, is biodegradable and recyclable
Durable and Robust
The robustness or leather is hardly a surprising or new quality. Vegetable-tanned leather is particularly known for its long life and ability to endure a lot of use, abuse, wear and tear. Especially when it is looked after properly.
It’s not the kind of material that is known to fail very often. When it does though, depending on the extent, of course, vegetable-tanned leather can be repaired.
Rich and Deep Patina
One thing that most leather lovers look for when choosing this material, is the patina. With vegetable tanned leather, over time, the patina can develop into a very rich and deep colour with lots of beautiful and subtle shadings that show its heritage.
Natural Look, Texture and Scent
We have already noted the patina and how it only gets better with age when you invest in vegetable-tanned leather. It’s not just the patina, but the look and feel in general of genuine vegetable tanned leather is completely natural. Not only the texture and aesthetics but the scent too. There is no overtones of chemicals or harsh plastic, just a rich aroma that comes when vegetable tannins are used to tan animal skins and hides.
Improves With Age, But Retains Its Original Features
Thanks to the fact that vegetable-tanned leather is made using vegetable tannins, they eventually have an effect and can change the material over time. Although the degree to which this happens depends on the precise mixture of tannins used, you will likely start to see it darken in time. Even though this happens, much of the original features of the material remains. Generally, nothing else is done to vegetable tanned leather, other than it being coated with polish, oil, or wax.
Obviously, if your issue with leather is the death of animals, you will not want to invest in genuine vegetable-tanned leather. However, if that is not a problem, there are many advantages as we have hopefully shown.