Recently, "Vegan leather" has been attracting attention.
"Vegan leather" is so-called "faux leather", but the one that is attracting attention is vegan leather derived from natural materials.
You can already buy Pinatex, which uses the pineapple fiber shown in the photo.A non-woven fabric of pineapple fiber coated with polyurethane resin, manufactured in Spain.Chanel got a lot of attention with the launch of a hat made with Pinhatex.However, its texture is more like paper or non-woven fabric than leather because of its squishy fiber density, so it cannot be used as a substitute for leather.It also contains polyurethane, so biodegradability is a concern.
As another promising material, vegan leather using mushroom hyphae is under development. It is an eco-friendly material that does not emit (or absorbs) CO2, uses less water, and can be grown in a short period of time.
These vegan leathers are attracting attention because of the environmental issues associated with cows.
In recent years, it is a true story, but methane gas contained in the "burp" of cattle has been cited as one of the major causes of global warming.For this reason, research on breeding to reduce methane gas contained in burp and belching is progressing, and at the same time, emission control is also being studied.
From such a trend, the development of plant-derived meat substitutes is also heating up to reduce animal-derived foods.With the widespread use of meat substitutes and the small amount of cows raised, the raw material for leather will be reduced, and cowhide will become a more expensive material.At that time, vegan leather is an alternative to leather.
However, what I'm curious about recently is the dissemination of information that "vegan leather is eco-friendly and leather is bad for the environment."
It is methane that should be regulated for the environment, not leather.If the two are tied together and the industry that recycles by-products is lost, the skin will not be thrown away as garbage, and it will become a serious disposal problem.
Not only that.It is said that purification equipment and recycling equipment required for manufacturing environmentally friendly leather cost tens of millions of yen, and in developed countries, many tanners are in the process of stricter environmental regulations.(Leather manufacturer) is out of business.As a result of strict regulations, the unit price of leather is high, and most of the leather used in the fashion industry is produced in developing countries where the manufacturing cost is low.However, in some of these countries, environmental regulations are inadequate or inadequate, causing environmental destruction and health hazards.
If misunderstandings spread from wrong preconceptions and it becomes impossible to maintain environmentally friendly facilitiesThe reliance on cheap leather is further increased, resulting in serious environmental problems.Tanners with environmentally friendly equipmentIt is not something that should be excluded, but something that should be protected.
At the same time, consumers also need to be aware that the leather products they use are manufactured in a sustainable environment. SYRINX uses only leather manufactured with tanners that meet strict environmental standards.
Methane also comes from paddy fields.About half of the world's people eat rice as their staple food, and paddy fields cannot be eliminated to reduce methane.Therefore, research to reduce methane generation in cultivation methods is important.
The same applies to livestock.The important thing is to control methane emissions within a sustainable range.To that extent, the leather industry should remain an environmentally friendly industry that recycles waste leather into highly practical leather.
Leather has existed since prehistoric times and has shared history with humankind.
We also want to do our best to explore "what people and leather can do to maintain a sustainable relationship."