…or, what am I missing?
Reading about recycled leather handbags this week over at Cheap Jap got me thinking. Yeah, there I go again! What in the world is so eco-friendly about a bag made of man-made materials?
True, no animals are harmed but I doubt that wearing a plastic purse is going to save many cows, pigs and lambs since leather is a by-product of the meat industry. I don’t think the world is going to give up meat anytime soon so I consider it more socially responsible to use as much of the animal as possible. I know this probably sounds odd coming from an animal-crazy former vegetarian but this is simply my way of thinking. Also, leather lasts longer and, being a natural product, is biodegradeable. Man-made leathers wear out more quickly and do not degrade (don’t even get me started on how cheap they look). Besides, just as Cheap Jap says, if you think I’m paying $995 for a nylon purse, you are all kinds of crazy.
Recycling? Now, that is a trend that I like. I often save old bags for the leather or the hardware if it is still in good shape and I made a bag a couple of years ago from leather recycled from my bar stool cushions – it had that aged ’70s look that I am so fond of. But, I laugh when this is called a “trend” since we sewers (and quilters) have been doing it since the beginning of time!
My idea of an eco-friendly bag? Those canvas things you bring to the grocery store.