Leather can be made from the skin of cows, sheep, pigs, goats, reptiles and even dogs and cats. Some animals are raised specifically for their skin, while other leathers directly fund factory farms and slaughterhouses, where skin is one of the most economically important by-products of the meat industry. These animals endure the same horrors of factory farming, including overcrowding, unanaesthetised castration, tail-docking, branding and dehorning. At slaughter some animals’ skins might be removed while they are still conscious.
Vegans do not fund this industry. Many choose to donate their former leather clothing to charities where it will help animals, in favour of making future purchases from ethical vegan companies that sell replica leather products.
Some popular organisations that sell animal-free leather include:
Dr Martens (note that they also sell leather items beside their vegan range)