The environmental impact of real leather

Black and white photo of 3 Friesian cows

A change is coming…

Between global warming, climate change and general environmental destruction, it’s more important than ever for each and every one of us to play a part in protecting the future of our planet, our children and our animals.

Starting with our attitude to leather.
If you think that a leather purchase here or there won’t make a bit of difference - think again.
The impact of the leather industry on the world around us is unimaginable.
But there is a solution.

Animal cruelty in the leather industry

Animals have been tested on, tortured and killed for generations in the name of “fashion”, and you may give little thought to the plight of the animal that produced your new leather handbag, jacket or accessory.

But spend even the smallest amount of time researching the seedy underbelly of the leather industry and you will no doubt be eager to join the vegan leather revolution.

The leather industry and factory farming subjects animals of all sizes to unspeakable horrors before their eventual end. Cows, goats, pigs, sheep, alligators, kangaroos, ostriches and even dogs and cats are maimed for their skin, and your new favourite wardrobe staple is the end product of excruciating pain and extreme suffering.

If you saw the gentle animal that gave its life for your new leather item having its life ended for your benefit, would you still buy it or wear it? Could you watch it living in overcrowded, torturous conditions? Being castrated, branded, skinned and dismembered while it was still alive? Having its bones broken and finally its throat cut?

It’s time to reconsider what your own brand of style means to you.

Montage of animals faces that are victims of the leather industry.

The victims of the leather industry come in all shapes and sizes. 
Image credit:


The leather industry and the environment

The treatment of animals in the leather industry should be enough to make you give up leather forever.

But, the environmental effects of the industry cause just as much damage and heartache.

The end-to-end process of leather production releases deadly levels of chemicals and toxins into the atmosphere, and takes a whole lot of power and energy to do so. Some of the chemicals required to procure leather include formaldehyde, arsenic, chromium, cyanide, coal-tar, oils, fossil fuels, sulfides, acids, dyes, finishes... and the list goes on. All of these contribute to keeping leather items in tip-top shape for the long haul, but are completely devastating not only to the environment, but also to the workers employed in industry.

Workers in leather tanneries and their surrounding communities suffer greatly in the name of leather production. Hazardous waste is often dumped dangerously, polluting the waterways and crops of surrounding regions and dramatically compromising and affecting resident’s health. If these chemicals have the impact they do on the environment as a whole, you can only imagine the painful cancers and long-term illnesses a staggering percentage or these workers end up battling - and that’s just in “first world” countries like the U.S and Australia. The impact in third world countries with few, if any, safety laws is disastrous.

And don’t even get us started on the level of deforestation that takes place across the world to make way for animal farming and crops. The natural wonder of the Amazon has seen the brunt of it.

Men tanning leather in large tubs

Image credit:

While many would argue that leather is simply a by-product of the meat and agriculture industry, it’s important to understand that while meat is part and parcel of factory farming, the amount animal skin fetches is what makes it a profitable industry. Essentially, while the two are both industries that rely on each other to thrive, it’s the leather industry that truly drives the supply and demand.

A new frontier in cruelty-free fashion

Benevolo is proud to join the growing ranks of ethical fashion retailers that are taking a united stand against the leather industry, instead offering sustainable, animal-free products.

There is no reason to continue to fund the leather industry when there are so many vegan leather alternatives that are as durable, long-lasting and attractive as real leather.

Read more about the cruelty-free materials Benevolo’s range of luxury vegan handbag brands are made from here.

If we all take a stand together, we can indeed change the world.

Benevolo’s range of animal-free luxury handbags

Benevolo carefully selects vegan handbag brands to add to our range that have demonstrated only the most ethical practices when crafting their products. This not only means that they abide by a strict ethical practice and utilise only the best sustainable materials, but it also extends to the fair working conditions they provide for their employees.

Browse our range of vegan handbags available in Australia today. We’re so glad to welcome you to the humane, ethical and eco-friendly world of fashion.

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An Introduction