"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them at least don't hurt them. "
If I am honest, many vegans I have met, find it disgusting that I wear leather (or as they like to call it dead animal skins). I am approached with a lot of judgement, some eye rolling, and quite a bit of anger. However, just wait one second and lets discuss this. Is there an ethical way to where real leather?
4 Ways I Wear REAL Leather Ethically
1.) Buy Leather OLD verses NEW.
Look for leather in vintage shops, consignment, or thrift stores. For many years now, I do not invest in buying new leather, and therefore, do not contribute to the killing of animals nor the promotion of the leather industry. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing leather products that have been recycled for the second, third, fourth time.
2.) Have Leather Swap Parties.
Rather than buying more leather goods, fill your fashion bug by swapping products with friends. The great thing about leather is how beautifully it ages. It has a lifetime unsurpassed by most materials and buying more should always be controlled to a minimum.
3.) Take care of Your Vintage Leather.
Leather has a life of its own, and if you take care of it with love, the proper creams, and repairs, there will be almost no need to throw it away. All my vintage boots had a life before me, and now with me, and as far as I am concerned will be with me as long as I live.
4.) Never Throw Away Leather. Recycle.
People now a days are so quick to toss a pair of shoes, or a bag that looks a tiny bit old, but never do that with leather. The beauty of leather lies in its ability to age beautifully. If you no longer want it, either give it to a friend, donate it, or bring it to a consignment shop for re-sale.
Although, I cannot undo the harm that has been caused to animals in the past, I believe throwing away all previous leather products and vowing to never wear it is harmful to the environment. Why? There is undeniably tons and tons of leather goods on this planet and throwing all of them away is wasteful, environmentally hazardous, and disrespectful to the animal who had to die for it. The only ethical way to proceed is to limit the purchasing of " NEW" leather, while respecting the existence of the "old".
What else can we do? We as a fashion community need to push for proper laws that forbid unethical treatment of animals, or the inhumane killing of them. There should be a huge push for strictly organic leather and the reduction of products created per year. Wasteful shopping habits need to be re-examined, and true appreciation should be born.