Friday, 31 August 2012

Real or Faux Leather?

As it’s leather week this week I thought it would be a good opportunity to highlight leather alternatives for all the vegan, veggies and concerned carnivores out there who want the leather look without the cruelty.  Being a vegan myself I choose not to buy any leather and have found there are loads of great alternatives to real leather and generally at a fraction of the price (bonus!)  Leather is classed as a by product of the meat industry so most reasonably feel it is ok, but it’s not quite that simple.   It’s still an important aspect of the meat trade where the skin/hide is worth about 10% of the animals total value.  It’s hard to get actual statistics as big meat companies are under no obligation to release them but the selling of skins can be very profitable, where as meat isn’t always so much.   Also alarmingly the softest, most supple leather actually comes from newborn or even unborn calves prematurely cut from the mothers womb (grim I know) and sometimes from the veal calves who’s miserable lives have been well documented.   With this and a vast majority of leather goods being imported from countries where animal welfare isn’t exactly at the top of the list it’s a fair assumption that our handbags haven’t led a very happy life and some people are making a shed load of money out of it.  My general thinking is that your money speaks volumes and you should make your own informed decisions on where you spend it.  With that in mind I am not in the business of telling other people what to do (promise, I often stray away from the vegan conversation in real life!) and in no way do I lead a completely ethical life, but it’s always worth looking into where things come from and seeking out alternatives where you can.

Soooo with that out the way, this is what we got up to last night.  I decided that while we were going down the cruelty free route we may as well be environmentally friendly at the same time (why not eh?)
I’ve worn this old bag to death and it’s definitely on its last legs but all that material doesn’t need to go to waste.  I really like stacked up bracelets and particularly leather look cuffs (more is more in my opinion) so we’ve taken apart the straps and some of the body of the bag and customised them using studs, chain and a great popper set our Fran discovered in pound land of all places!  I also dug up an old tan belt in my wardrobe raid that’s seen better days but made a nice addition to my stacked up arm.  We’ll do some more detailed tutorials for some of these soon and possibly a few other things seeing as I’ve left a lot of old bag and belt in Frans possession!  But for now dig out your old bags and see what you can salvage! Hannah x



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