Leather has long been the target of sustainability critiques, with concerns ranging from animal welfare to environmental impact. The leather industry, often associated with deforestation, water pollution, and ethical issues, has faced its fair share of scrutiny. As with wool. it's crucial to recognize that not all leather is created equal, and a nuanced perspective can shed light on sustainable alternatives within the realm of using leather in fashion.
Many Dimensions of Sustainable Fashion
In the pursuit of sustainable fashion, the focus has historically been singularly fixated on materials. While material choice is undeniably significant, a comprehensive approach considers various dimensions, such as production processes, design longevity, and waste reduction. A sustainable fashion model can be constructed from a harmonious balance between style, ethics, and environmental consciousness.
The Circular Model and Recycled Materials
One key objective in sustainable fashion is to reduce waste, and the circular model is a noteworthy strategy. Circular products are those that have reduced or completely no need for virgin resources and are designed with the end of their life in mind. For instance, 72 Smalldive regenerated leather braided belts exemplify this approach, utilizing leather trimmings sourced from tanneries that might otherwise go to waste. Rebraiding these trimming in a cylindrical structure offers greater durability and resistance that leather trimming would not offer. By upcycling these materials, our suppliers contribute to a circular economy, minimizing environmental impact and promoting resource efficiency without compromising on product style and longevity.
Reducing Leather Use with Plant-Based Alternatives
At 72 Smalldive we also agree that reducing reliance on traditional leather is another avenue for sustainability. For this reason, we also opted for plant-based viscose braids to be used as belt straps. Our plant-based viscose belts is a showcase of our commitment to minimizing the ecological footprint associated with leather production. But more importantly regardless the materials used, our priority is to ensure high quality production in small quantities so that these products not only broadens the spectrum of sustainable options available in the fashion industry but also align with environmental consciousness without slipping into the mindless commodotization.
Reducing Waste through Durability
Although there are many vegan options to substitute leather, many of such materials pales in comparisons in material durability. Choosing good quality full and top-grain leather for our belts since we launched our brand is a conscious decision to reduce waste. By ensuring durability, most of our belts last customers a substantial lifetime. This commitment to longevity counters the fast fashion narrative, encouraging consumers to invest in products that withstand the test of time, ultimately reducing the overall demand for new items and curbing environmental impact.
Adhering to Sustainable Directives
Beyond materials, decisions such as using tanneries compliant with EU sustainable directives play a pivotal role in promoting responsible practices. By adhering to tanneries that follow stringent regulations, we ensure that our materials meet high environmental and ethical standards, reinforcing our commitment to sustainable and responsible fashion.
Perspective Shift: A Multi-dimensional View on Sustainability
In conclusion, it is imperative to view sustainability through a multi-dimensional lens. Adhering to a single narrative, such as eradicating leather altogether, may inadvertently harm the sustainability journey. Without a multi-prong approach to sustainability, a rush to adopt alternative materials may lead to a speculative and commoditized market, potentially resulting in energy and waste-intensive production processes.
Quality, Provenance, and Tradition
As consumers, the power lies in our choices. To contribute positively to the sustainability landscape, consider buying quality items, avoiding throwaway culture, and choosing products with a provenance renowned for traditional methods, controlled productions, and transparent, environmentally conscious directives. By adopting this multi-faceted approach, we can collectively shape a more sustainable future for fashion—one that respects both the environment and the artisans behind each creation.