Is recycled leather necessary sustainable ? Case study

In 2017, Nike released a new leather material, Flyleather, dubbed sustainable because recycled.

Flyleather combines leather scraps – generally discarded hides in the early-stage of the tanning process – and polyester blend fibers.

Pros: this process enables to recycle scraps that didn’t have any other way out at this stage of tanning + the material can be dyed/imprinted with patterns + is argued to be 5x as durable at traditional leather.

Cons: what happens to recycling the finished product, made of a mixture of genuine leather and synthetic polymer? The hardest is to separate materials to recycle them correctly. Like most finished products and many other materials, it’s complicated.

We dot not reject Nike’s initiative – they have taken actions to reduce their carbon footprint, unlike many others in the industry. This is rather an example to reflect on the notion of improvement regarding sustainability: it’s all about priority.

Nike’s goal here was to avoid wasting leather scraps, and this is what they have achieved.

Innovative out-of-the-box ideas is what we need to learn and improve, both as governments, companies and individuals.

 

What do you think?

Baby steps or radical change for a more sustainable fashion? 

 

 

Find out more on Nike’s website

 

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