The leather jacket does not only cover your shoulders when it rains outside. It warms your heart; it takes you to a more distant dimension. Where Danny Zuko – aka John Travolta – dances with the T-birds boy on the legendary 48 Ford Deluxe Convertible Greased Lightning, the flaming red car of a generation’s dreams. And when he flies into the sky in the final scene of Grease, the beautiful Sally is with him in that car, wearing a gorgeous moto jacket. Freedom, rock and roll, dreams, broken rules, that’s what that jacket evokes, on the most superficial layer of our skin. But when we go deep to find out how it was produced a garment that resists every trend, the violated rights of the environment and animals emerge. Subsequently, the question arises: «what is the leather jacket that does not hurt the planet?»
Alternative materials to leather
Vegan leather is a cruelty-free product alternative to natural leather, made with innovative and sustainable materials of vegetable origin, waste recovered and reused according to the principles of the circular economy. It happens, however, that vegan products are still niche, designed and produced by well-known luxury brands at very high costs. While the eco-leather jacket continues to be successful in a more popular market. It is a product that has nothing to do with the philosophy that protects animals, but that comes from the waste materials of the food industry, treated according to a protocol with low environmental impact.
Among the cheapest alternative solutions, synthetic leather is perhaps the one that appeals to the public, strongly sponsored by the last fashion trends at the most affordable costs. It can be synthetic or made in part with natural fabrics on which polyurethane resins have been coated to make it look more natural. That does not agree with the planet, strongly impacting the environment at every stage of the supply chain.
The leather jacket that doesn’t harm the environment
The leather jacket is still one of the most loved by every generation. Finding an answer to the question that agrees with everyone, including environmentalists and vegans, seems hard to find. However, what is certain is that the vintage or recycled jacket does not contribute to the killing of additional animals and environmental pollution. Why not take a tour to the vintage markets or search the web among the platforms that offer quality used clothing? «The genuine leather jacket, due to its durability, is one of the easiest items to find… and maybe we could be lucky enough to find a branded item at the same price as a plastic one.» (Simonetta Bonetti, Fashionista sostenibile, Amazon, available in English from June 2021)
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