10 November 2021
The Global Leather Industry Organization issued a joint leather declaration to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 calling for “encouraging the use of natural materials”, writes Francis Tsang, co-founder of the ChromeFree Leather Alliance (CFLA).
The world needs sustainable, renewable, recyclable, biodegradable natural materials, especially natural materials that do not burden the atmosphere with carbon.
Natural fibres such as leather, cotton, wool, mohair, alpaca hair, silk, hemp and mycelium are all part of the biosphere carbon cycle. Carbon in natural fibers comes from air that already exists naturally on Earth.
Natural materials produced in the right way, while ethically, are important substitutes for petrochemicals, not only reducing the demand for petrochemicals, but also keeping more carbon underground.
In addition, natural materials are biodegradable in nature at the end of their life cycle, which is why their environmental impact and harmful emissions are limited, while synthetic materials are inextricably linked to microplastic pollution.
Accordingly, our organizations have jointly signed an appeal to the COP26 Forum to:
– Recognize the inherent recyclability and small environmental impact of natural fibers, as well as their positive contribution and potential to reducing the climate impact of consumer goods;
– Encourage consumers to use natural fibres where feasible and reduce unnecessary dependence on materials made from fossil fuels;
– Urges the LCA assessment method to accurately count the environmental impact of materials based on fossil fuels, including explaining their end-of-life characteristics;
-Promote “slow fashion” and durable products, as well as products that can be used, repaired and refurbished multiple times and can be used for long periods of time.