The Benefits of Recycled Leather
by Lewis Simpson
Leather manufacturers generate an alarming amount of waste, it’s a common fact in our industry. On average, they can waste around 50% of the initial raw materials. Yes, 50%! The process of making leather into a workable material involves an incredible amount of water and toxic chemicals. If disposed of incorrectly, leather can contaminate the earth and release horrible harmful gases into the atmosphere. But there is a brilliant way the industry is turning this around, recycling and reusing.
By reusing leather scraps and offcuts you reduce the demand for virgin leather and the incredibly harmful production process it requires. Leather scraps can be collected from all kinds of products such as shoes, garments and furniture. This recycled leather is then turned into a pulp by combining it with water and mixing it with binding products such as rubber and wood bark. This leather pulp is then formed into a sheet and pressed into size and coloured. They can even retexture it to fit specific requirements.
So we know the benefits of the recycling process, but what are some of the benefits of choosing recycled leather for your new piece of furniture?
It’s a long-lasting material
What you might not expect is that, yes, recycled leather can be an exceptionally durable and long-lasting material for your furniture. Combine a recycled leather with an amazing fabric protector such as Aquaclean, and you have a stain and water-resistant piece on your hands. If you treat it with a little care, your recycled leather can last a long time!
It’s very easy to take care of
Leather can be high maintenance, with an expensive cleaning and rejuvenation routine. However, unlike virgin leather, recycled leather doesn’t require the same expensive care. In most cases a damp cloth should be enough to remove stains due to everyday use. You can have all of the timeless elegance with almost none of the time-consuming care.
It has the appearance and feel of genuine leather
Due to amazing advances in the production process and the machinery used, recycled leather has the appearance, feel and even scent of virgin leather. Amazing!
It’s MUCH less expensive
Recycled leather is less expensive than virgin leather but produces a product of equal quality! The best bit is that with continued advances in the production process, it may yet get cheaper to produce and continue to heighten in quality.
It includes ZERO plastics
The natural fibres of the shredded leather are combined with other natural products, such as rubber and wood bark. This isn’t faux plastic leather and no plastics are used in any of the production process.
It’s a flexible material
The best thing about using recycled leather is that it is much more flexible than virgin leather thanks to the rubber used as a natural glue. This means less wear and tear over time from regular use, such as rips, creases and lifting. Even if wear and tear begin to show after long term use, recycled leather is much easier and cheaper to repair or reupholster!
Minimal waste of material
As previously stated, the process of recycling leather allows for minimal waste. The final result of the manufacturing process is a flawless sheet of recycled leather ready to use.
Here at The Chaise Longue Company we pride ourselves on using more sustainable practices when building our beautiful furniture, such as using sustainably source hardwood to build our frames. Another fantastic area of sustainability we are moving into is working with our fabric partners to provide more recycled leather options for our customers. The above list of benefits show that this material is a revolution in the world of furniture