The Secretary General of the European Tanning Association, COTANCE, Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano wrote that the author of the recent misleading Vogue Business piece on the leather “driving deforestation” by journalist Rachel Cernansky is wilding inaccurate.
This journalist accuses leather of driving deforestation. Obviously, this person is not a good journalist (a good journalist checks its sources and tries to get the opinions of all sides) and does not know anything about the leather industry! I hope that the next article rectifies some of the damage caused to this humble yet societally important leather industry!
The truth is that leather is the result of recycling the hides or skins of animals sacrificed for the production of meat for human consumption. No slaughter animal is killed for its hide or skin. It would be an economic mistake apart from being unethical.
The determining products of animal breeding are milk, meat or wool. Moreover, the hide or skin of bovine, ovine or caprine animals constitute a tiny fraction of the value of the animal. At EU level in the context of the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) initiative, cattle hides are allocated 0.51 of the animal (allocation ratio), while sheep and goatskins get an allocation ratio of 0.11, and pigskins even 0.0.
Therefore, how, in such a context, can, anyone pretend that leather drives deforestation? Leather making is probably the oldest product of the circular economy and it is sad to see that its image is being so easily vilified by bad journalism.
Editor’s Note: APLF thanks Mr. Gonzalez-Quijano for this clear insight on the leather industry in relation to deforestation and sincerely hopes that both Ms. Cernansky and the Vogue Business editor take this explanation on board and are able to put aside any pre-conceived notions they may have about leather and deforestation after reading these economic facts.