Sewing Leather Sustainably

Sewing Leather Sustainably

black leather coat

For a long time, I thought that my love of leather was at odds with trying to live more sustainably.  But I have come to realize that sewing leather can be done in a mindful and sustainable way. First of all, if you are reusing leather from an old jacket or coat or even leather pants that have gone out of fashion but in which the leather is still in perfectly good condition then you are sewing sustainably. 

Here are several more ways to combine your love of sewing with sustainably:

  1. Use scraps and off-cuts: Many leather goods manufacturers generate scraps and off-cuts that would otherwise go to waste. Look for a local tannery or leather goods maker who may be willing to sell or give away their scraps.

  2. Use vegetable-tanned leather: Vegetable-tanned leather is a more sustainable option than chrome-tanned leather as it uses natural tannins and is less harmful to the environment.

  3. Consider using alternative materials: Consider using alternative materials such as cork, or eco-leather made from recycled plastic bottles.

  4. Support sustainable leather brands: Look for brands that use sustainable practices in their production, such as using environmentally friendly tanning methods, or using leather from responsibly raised animals.

  5. Educate yourself and others: Learn more about the environmental impact of leather production and share your knowledge with others in your sewing community.

By incorporating these sustainable practices into your sewing projects, you can enjoy your creative pursuits while also making a lower impact on the environment than if you were sewing original items from previously unused materials. 

When you reuse leather from a garment you are honoring the leather with a 3rd life.

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