Thinking about the links between leather and textiles moves one’s thoughts to a wide variety of natural materials such as wool and linen. Understanding the terminology of the various aspects of the environment has become very complex. Issue, mostly incorrectly reported, around chromium have lead tanners to make some dreadfully improper claims for chrome free leather. Examples of greenwashing abound.
Rohantime Green Glossary
Rohan has published a guide related to this and it can be found at:
I have included a few entries below to give a flavour for you to read.
Alpaca wool is very enduring. Insecticides are not injected into the Alpaca sheep fleece.The animal is very hardy. Most Alpaca products are imported at the moment.
A natural fibre from the bamboo plant. Bamboo has natural, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Bamboo fabric can absorb up to four times more moisture than cotton. It is because of this it has attracted interest amongst outdoor garment manufacturers.Bamboo viscoseis a fibre which has been reconstituted from the original bamboo fiber and therefore small amounts of original bamboo fiber remain.
Cradle-to-cradle, C2C or Cradle 2 Cradle
The phrase “cradle to cradle” itself was coined by Walter R. Stahel in the 1970s. Stahel has emphasized the importance of the economic, ecologic and social advantages of the loop economy, which is increasingly referred to as circular economy. A play on the “Cradle to Grave” phrase, implying that the C2C model is sustainable and considerate of life in general. The Cradle to Cradle model can be viewed as a framework that considers systems as a whole or holistically.C2C Designers consider end of life in their design so that no chemical elements go to landfill but are all properly reused not just recycled. Only organic material goes to landfill.
Greenwashing is a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products (such as goods or services) are environmentally friendly.
Greenwashing may be described as “spin”
For centuries the hemp fiber has been used for paper, rope and cloth. Hemp fiber is extremely durable and makes great clothing (Levi jeans originally made with hemp). Because of its strength it is again being used by some outdoor clothing manufacturers but to date it is being blended with other fibres.
There is no entry for leather; perhaps logical as it is a very minor part of the Rohan range and for many years they had none whatsoever. Yet if you were going to add an entry for leather what would you put? We have lots of clever marketing phraseology, we are all very proud of our material. We know it is sustainable and a valuable bi-product. Yet in “green glossary” how would we have it defined?