Luxury fashion must stop producing leather goods to be truly ethical

Yet the ban does not extend to fine leathers like crocodile and python or lamb fur (shearling) or, perhaps most importantly, leather – and its impact on the group’s environmental profit and loss statement will be negligible.

Giving up fur is the right thing to do. Animals should not live in cages and be slaughtered so that the rich can have new furs. The same goes for reptiles that are bred or captured so that their skins can be made into bags and belts.

But where does the leather go? If Kering really wants to reduce its environmental footprint, cutting back on this pillar of the industry would be the starting point. According to the company’s estimates, leather collects more resources than all other materials combined.

But it is also the most important revenue and profit driver for the company and for the luxury goods sector in general. It is responsible for approximately half of the sales of Kering, Hermes and Prada. Bio-based alternatives are limited, and unlike precious hides and most types of fur, leather is generally believed to be a by-product of the meat and dairy industries.

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