6 March 2024

Words have Meaning - Tanning to FT: “If words still have meaning, then no more vegan leather”

If not to provide clarity to readers, at least to remain in line with the history of the news source, which always cared for the choice of words and quality of expressions. It’s an appeal made by Mike Redwood, English journalist and author with a long career, as well as a member of the Leather Conservation Centre di Northampton, to the Financial Times. He published an article where he mentions the misleading usages of “vegan leather” as a term for leather alternatives. Report by La Conceria.

Words have value

In his article, which we invite all to read, Redwood reminds readers what leather exactly is (and how the law and British language classify it). But, even more clearly, he calls the writers of the Financial Times to respect readers as well as the newspaper’s history. “Terms like ‘vegan’ in the material sector cause more harm then good when they become euphemisms for synthetic products derived from fossil fuels – he says -. Moreover, they do not need to add the term “leather” to trade off leather’s circularity, longevity, repairability and reusability”.

Topics well known to tanners, but on which some risk of creating confusion (especially when misled by alternatives’ manufacturers). The Financial Times needs to be careful, because in the long run misusing terms risks ruining the newspaper’s standing, and it would be too bad.

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