Sustainable Leather Explained

Craftsmanship and Quality with a Conscience

At Latico Leathers, we're very proud of the process of responsibly sourcing the leather that goes into our bags. We offer a large selection of sustainable leather goods to suit your unique style.

Sustainable leather can be a vague term, so we wanted to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at what exactly that means, from how we make our bags, how we source leather and the people creating our products.

Sustainable leather means that we use leather that keeps the environment top of mind, but it also means we are conscious of every aspect of the production process to make sure it's crafted with the best quality in the best ethical way- from sourcing to when you open your new Latico bag.

What is sustainable leather?

Sustainable leather means that the leather used is a byproduct of local farming and agriculture industries. Rather than the animals raised specifically for the purpose of using their leather for goods, they are first farm animals.

Latico's leather is sourced from local farmers in who treat their animals with care and respect. We also offer prime fair-trade prices to local farmers. Because we ethically source leather as byproduct of food animals, we aren't creating a negative environmental impact. All of Latico's products are hand made by talented artisans in South America and India so our process of creating handbags is also sustainable and responsible.

How is sustainable leather made?

Sustainable leather means it is ethically sourced and the entire manufacturing process and production process is conducted with people and the planet in mind. So everything from sourcing materials, tanning, sewing and sending finished products out is done with sustainable consideration.

Sustainable Leather Production & Sourcing

In sustainable leather sourcing, animals are raised as they normally would be in local farms. We then source our leather as a byproduct of the meat industry that is already taking place- therefore ensuring no part of the animal goes to waste.

Latico also works with local farmers to ensure all animals are treated fairly and that the farmers themselves are running clean, safe and fair farm facilities. By doing this, we're able to ensure your 100% leather product is the highest quality.

Sustainable Leather Tanning

Tanneries that don’t treat leather with the planet (and people) in mind can cause serious harm. Companies may use trivalent chromium, formaldehyde, alum, and other artificial chemicals. These can let off harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) — which are toxic and can cause anything from minor irritation to mutations and cancers.

This is not just harmful to those who wear the leather products — it’s also harmful to the workers who are tanning the leathers. Plus, these chemicals and compounds are toxic to the environment.

However, sustainable leather is treated with recycled water and without harmful artificial chemicals. Plus, it’s done by hand — further lessening the environmental footprint.

This lessens the overall impact of the leather industry and each product.

The Environmental Impact of the Leather Industry

The global impact of leather production is huge. Some of the biggest concerns of real leather production include:

Land and water use
Greenhouse gas emissions

This is why we make sure to select local manufacturers who are practicing safe production practices and employ handcrafting techniques to reduce the impact of chemicals in our product. We also use recycled water to minimize the impact of wastewater when creating our goods.

Is vegan leather better for the planet than real leather?

When shopping online for a leather looking products, you might assume that products made from "vegan leather" or "eco-leather" are a great, ethical option. However, that's usually not the case.

While there are some plant-based leathers, vegan leather is usually made from two different plastic polymers: polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

As these “faux leathers” — which are essentially made of plastic and treated with other harmful chemicals — break down in landfills, these toxins are released back into the environment. Unlike traditional leather made from cowhide and other animal skin, plastic-based “vegan leathers” take years to break down.

So while "vegan leather" and other terms may seem like a good sustainable option to real leather, these terms are often used to describe goods made from plastics, which ultimately can be more harmful than traditional animal leather.

The Longevity of Pleather vs Real Leather

While you may assume the environmental impact of choosing a product that's made from fake leather is better than choosing real leather, you will most likely find that your faux leather products break down a lot sooner than real leather products- causing you to have to throw away and fill landfills with the product.

When taken care of, real animal leather can last you even more than a lifetime of wear. You can carry your real leather handbag or backpack on many trips and pass down through generations for years to come- carrying with it countless meaningful memories. Real leather also wears well and gets better with the more you use it.

Ultimately, choosing a real leather product will be more sustainable for you and the environment in the long run.

Sustainable Leather That is Ethical Too

Sustainable leather is great for the impact it makes on the environment, but isn't living up to its true sustainable name if the people who are crafting this leather aren't treated fairly or paid a living wage.

Truly sustainable leather means it fairly supports the people who make the products — and provides them with a sustainable means of life.

That’s why at Latico Leathers, we empower local workers in South America and India and support them to live a quality life.

The Latico Leathers promise to you and the world

Each Latico bag is handmade with love by talented artisans throughout South America and India. We're passionate about environmental sustainability and giving back — our leathers are byproducts of the meat and dairy industry that would otherwise go to waste.

Additionally, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America for every purchase made on our website. Thanks to our loyal customers, we've been able to donate 100,000 meals and counting to this incredible organization.

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