Why I Don’t Craft with Leather

Why I Don't Craft with Leather

Leather crafts are super hip right now, and as a vegan crafter, that bums me out. I’m probably going to take some flack for speaking up about leather, but the poor animals who suffer because of the leather industry can’t speak for themselves.

Caveat: If you do leather crafts, I want you to know that I don’t think that you’re a horrible, evil person. I have plenty of friends who wear leather and eat meat. I’m sharing these facts because it’s important to me that these animals have a voice, and I hope that if you do leather crafts you’ll be open to learning a little bit about the origins of those materials. My goal isn’t to make you feel bad or judged – it’s only educate.

If you’re not super familiar with what veganism is about, the idea of vegan crafting might seem silly or extreme. You don’t eat leather, so what’s the problem, right? Veganism is actually about avoiding animal products wherever possible in every aspect of your life for environmental, health, and/or animal rights reasons, so that means no feathers, beeswax, or leather.

The leather that we find for crafting comes from the same factory farms and industrial processing facilities as the leather that makes clothing, shoes, purses, etc. Even if you are not bothered by the idea that an animal is being killed to create craft supplies, there are many problems with leather production. It begins with how the animals are treated when they’re alive and ends with the very toxic tanning process.

I recently wrote a piece for our sister site – Feelgood Style – on the terrible animal abuse and pollution problems in the leather industry. It includes a video of animal abuse that is not for the feint of heart. If you do craft with leather, I hope that you’ll check out the article below, even if you’re not able to stomach the video. I found it very hard to watch and totally understand if you want to skip it.

{Image Credit: Leather photo via Shutterstock}

Video the Leather Industry Doesn’t Want You to See (via http://feelgoodstyle.com)

Whenever I talk about vegan alternatives to leather, I feel like I get a lot of pushback. Leather is a natural material, so it must be eco-friendly, right? I feel like that argument fails on many levels, and the video below is just one example of how…

10 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Craft with Leather”

  1. Thanks very much for this post. No one should feel apologetic about this subject, although you were very careful not to offend. (That was considerate πŸ™‚ But honestly, this is like the elephant in the room. People don’t think through the chain of where things come from. Once it started connecting with me, I watched some of these same videos you’ve referenced. Once you watch even ONE, you can never go back to ignorant bliss. We, as a civilized people, have no business perpetuating mindless cruelty. Even if you don’t want to give up eating meat, there are choices to make about sourcing your food. A person is responsible to do that much.

  2. I found myself complaining to a friend recently how almost all the cuff tutorials I come across are with leather. I LOVE cuff bracelets and have yet to attempt to make one, I have seen a few cute jean and cotton ones I am thinking about trying.

  3. Pingback: Why I Don't Craft with Leather | Cratfing Nature

  4. Great post! But what about some alternative suggestions? Many of us looking to do vegan crafts need ideas that would be substitutes for leather and other animal products.

  5. I find I have plenty of leather for the type of projects I do, small to very small, by just utilizing road kill. As long as folks such as yourself are sharing the roads with cats, dogs and the a lot less abundant wild life I will have hides aplenty. The world of wheels provides!

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