The Impact of Faux and Genuine Leather On The World.

An insight into our leather selection criteria.

At the most general level there are only 2 types of leather that are available for leather crafting. 100% Genuine leather and Synthetic leather. We can then further elaborate on the many different types of leather that are available to the consumers and crafters alike. Diverse leather types are available for different uses. However, as a starter any kind of leather could be used and it is often recommended for beginners to play around with leather scraps from old upholstery.

Genuine leather is an extremely expensive and precious commodity due to the fact that it can be difficult to extract. For the sake of the argument let’s say that we are only using leather form animals that were already destined to be slaughtered for meat. Then we can make an argument that we are avoiding waste of a precious resource that would otherwise go to waste. This in fact is one of the greatest myths about the leather industry. There are various animals that are bred just for their hides, most of which are cows. PETA reports that some animals are even skinned alive or poached for their hides.

If we consider the environmental aspects of using genuine leather. Animals are factory-farmed for their meat and leather which is a process that is environmentally unfriendly. Not only does this use a lot of fossil fuels, millions of tonnes of methane are released into the atmosphere while raising billions of animals. The chemicals used in the tanning process to convert animal skin into leather are another addition to the pollutive nature of leather making. Considering that leather is a natural resource, using it would actually not be harmful for the environment. When it comes to farming them, that is a whole other story.

Factory farms are no place for animals. They aren’t allowed to free roam the farms and are constricted in dirty cattle pens. There are sustainable free roam farms that are more ethical in their treatment of animals. Provided that you are okay with it, they can be a nicer and more ethical alternative of your leather needs.

With the advancement in technology and our understanding of materials, Faux leather can be just as good as genuine leather, in terms of its look and texture. Faux leather is different from bonded leather, which is a mixture of leather scraps, leather fibers and bonding agents. Disposing of faux leather can be wasteful for the environment since it is synthetic and some variants of faux leather use PVC backing. This is the biggest drawback of using faux-leather over genuine. Of course, faux-leather also does not develop the same smell as leather or the patina. This can be both an advantage or disadvantage depending upon your tastes.

When we compare the environmentally wasteful nature of faux-leather and the environmentally damaging impact of farming leather. We are basically comparing the lesser evil. If you plan on using your faux leather accessories for a very long time. It might just be better for you to take the faux-leather route. There are various properties of faux-leathers that make it an incredible choice for beginners and advanced crafters alike. Not to mention that faux leather is actually much cheaper to source than genuine leather. We have prepared a graphic to list the comparison which you can find below at the end.

At Hby box, customers with high quality supplies while remaining environmentally conscious and keeping affordability in mind. We cannot in right conscience partake in the unethical practice of factory farming by adding ourselves and you (by extension) to the list of factory-farmed genuine leather customers. When it comes to sustainably farmed leather, the prices are higher due to the scarcity of the material. This would drive up the cost of a single Hby box to the point where it would be unfair to a beginner crafter to pay. We would always advise new crafters or even intermediate ones to practice their craft on older leather scraps or even faux-leather.

Even though we chose faux leather for our kits, we had to make sure that the leather we use looks and feels just like genuine leather. We went for a colour that is more reminiscent of genuine leather to give our crafts a more realistic look. Our leather may not be genuine but our tools are that which are used in leather crafts. Together we have a couple of beginner project tutorials that are perfect for people that are trying to get a taste of leather crafts. If you are already a leather crafter, then you now have some more supplies to tinker with.


Take a look at our leather-crafting kit now!


Comparison between Faux and Genuine leather

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