I know, I know. How can we be an ethical fashion store and STILL sell leather. We've received loads of feedback from our customers and potential customers and concluded...You're right! We're totally hypocrites!
MadeFAIR has always had a tenuous relationship with leather products. On one hand, we stock locally-sourced leather from the country of manufacturing, which was always a byproduct of small cattle ranching businesses. On the other, do we really need to stock it?
To be frank, no. If we want to stock products with supply chains that are 100% free of child labor, then it would be impossible to stock it from Ethiopia (for example), because cattle ranching -- along with mining and the textile industries -- uses the worst forms of child labor in the country. When I say "worst," I'm not talking about an after school job, mowing the neighbor's lawn. These are industries that actively remove children between the ages of 5 and 14 from school, either to contribute to their families income, or as bonded laborers (i.e. slaves). Animal rights aside (not to trivialize the subject), there's no denying that the leather supply chain is still too opaque to ensure children weren't involved in its production.
In addition, the treatment process is, essentially, mummifying decaying animal hide by using chemicals that are slowing killing the people who make it, and poisoning entire communities. Yes, even vegetable tanned leather, which still produces 20 to 80 cubic meters of putrid waste water for every hide. Put it this way, they're cleaning dead flesh that's riddled with bacteria. Would you drink it?
When I started MadeFAIR, I saw leather as a necessity for bags and shoes, because faux leather is really just plastic. Leather is biodegradable, using one animal's thrown-away skin to save thousands of others over the course of decades. Now, however, there are too many alternatives to even attempt the mental gymnastics necessary to convince people it's okay.
Now, I'm not going to throw-out the leather we have. That'd be downright wasteful. However, we will no longer be stocking any NEW leather products. The one exception will be repurposed leather.
The thing is, we STILL have some leather in our store, so if you're reading this and would like take it off our hands, here's a 40% off code for all of our leather products:
*Valid until all new leather products are gone.*