Leather is made from the hide or skin of animals.

leather hides in a stack.

About

Almost all of the world’s leather is produced from hides that come from animals raised for meat. Leather has a number of unique qualities which are highly valued, such as strength, longevity, durability, water vapor permeability, abrasion resistance, and elasticity. It’s used for a broad range of applications.

Challenges

Leather production has both environmental and animal welfare implications.

At the farm level, rearing livestock involves land use and potential land use change, as well as enteric methane emissions. It might also impact water, animal welfare, and the territories of Indigenous people. A series of chemical and mechanical processes are involved in the transformation of raw hide to finished leather, and these also come with environmental and social risks.

heavy machinery logging outside of a forest.
Solutions

We’re tackling deforestation and improving animal welfare.

We’re supporting the fashion and textile industry in switching to preferred materials that have better environmental and social outcomes than their conventional alternatives. Our main focus for leather is addressing deforestation and animal welfare challenges at the farm levels of the bovine leather supply chain.

cows in a pasture.
Resources

Dive deeper into leather production

Get Involved

Take the next steps in your sourcing journey

Sign up for our Leather Round Table

Lead the conversation on how the leather industry can reduce its climate impact and improve biodiversity, water, and soil health while respecting the rights of people and animals

Join the Leather Round Table
LIA

Reward positive practices through our Leather Impact Accelerator

We’ve developed the Leather Impact Accelerator to support brands in addressing the sustainability challenges related to leather production throughout the entire supply chain, from farm to finished leather.

cow in a hazy orange pasture at sunrise.
MATERIALS PRODUCTION DASHBOARD

Get the latest data

You can access our latest data on production volume for leather in our Materials Production Dashboard.

cows in the hills.

Find the answers to common questions about leather

If you have a question, get in touch with us directly, and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.

Other Animal Fibers and Materials

Wool

Sheep wool is the most common animal fiber used in the fashion and textile industry.

Down

Down is an insulating material with a high warmth-to-weight ratio.

Other Animal Fibers

Other animal fibers used in the fashion and textile industry include mohair, cashmere, and alpaca.