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, and we are concerned about marine pollution and biodegradability.
As another promising material, vegan leather using mushroom hyphae is under development. It is an eco-friendly material that does not emit CO2 and uses less water, and I want to try SYRINX as soon as possible, so I am paying attention to it.
These vegan leathers are attracting attention because of the environmental issues associated with cows.In recent years, methane gas contained in cattle belching has been cited as one of the major causes of global warming.Therefore, research on additives and breeding to reduce methane gas contained in burp and belching is progressing, and at the same time, emission regulation is also being studied.Due to such a trend, the development of plant-derived meat substitutes is also enthusiastic.Vegan leather is attracting attention because as meat substitutes become more widespread and the amount of cows raised becomes smaller, the amount of raw leather used decreases.
However, along with that, what I am worried about recently is the false information transmission that "leather is bad for the environment".
Cowhide is a recycled meat by-product and is an eco-friendly material.
We do not raise or slaughter cows to make cowhide.
If the leather is discarded as leather without being recycled, incineration will lead to serious CO2 emission problems.The development of vegan leather is active in case the meat substitutes become widespread in the future.However, leather that cherishes the lives received and recycles by-products is still eco-friendly.
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 the generation of methane in cultivation methods is important.The same is true for livestock, and the important thing is to control methane emissions within a sustainable range.To that extent, the leather industry is needed as an environmentally friendly industry that recycles waste leather into leather.
Leather has existed since prehistoric times and has shared history with humankind.
We also want to explore "what people and leather can do to maintain a sustainable relationship" with little effort.