Cow skin for the leather industry


Brutal practices persist within the domestic and wild animal leather industries

What are the environmental impacts of leather?

As a co-product of the meat industry, there are the same environmental concerns with leather production as are associated with  raising animals for food. These concerns include deforestation, water pollution and creating ‘ocean dead zones’, and emitting harmful gases, which are contributing to climate change (you can read more about how animal agriculture is linked to climate change here).

An added impact on the environment caused by leather production is the tanning process, which preserves the skin of the animal to avoid rotting. This process uses such as ammonia; cyanide-based dyes, formaldehyde; and lead. Some of these products are carcinogenic, and all are environmental pollutants, which end up being released into the air, ground, and our water supply. The people who work in the leather industry or near the facilities also suffer due to exposure from such harmful chemicals.

Beef cattle indoors at a farm

Beef cattle indoors at a farm

What are we doing?

FOUR PAWS refuses to allow this suffering to remain hidden. We are exposing the truth behind fashion, we are working with industries while highlighting the cruelty and lack of transparency around this industry, and a growing number of people are standing with us.

Through our Wear it Kind programme, we are building a worldwide movement of people, designers, and brands who are demanding kindness to animals used in fashion. The tide is turning.

Today there are more alternatives to leather than ever before, and that number grows all the time. In fact, it’s never been easier to find fabulous, great quality fashion that is entirely free from any suffering.

Pinatex handbag by fashion company SVALA – made out of Pineapple leather

Pinatex handbag by fashion company SVALA. Leather made from pineapple waste and other waste materials is becoming increasingly popular!

How can you help?