Durability - it’s durable and hard-wearing.
Quality - it’s a sensual material, both in its feel and smell, and can be beautiful.
Reusable - it's reused and resold to much higher levels than other fabrics.
Renewable - the material itself is natural, not man-made, so sources can be replenished.
Resource intensive - raising animals, whether for food and leather, requires huge amounts of feed, pastureland, water, and fossil fuels.
Destroys nature - the need for that pastureland and water drives deforestation. In the last half century, 70% of the Amazon rainforest has been cleared to make way for pastures or for growing feed crops, causing habitat loss for millions of species and driving climate change.
GHG emissions - the digestive systems of those animals and the methane and nitrous oxide they produce are responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined.
Generates waste - animals on factory farms produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population, all without the benefit of waste treatment plants. Runoff of that waste is a major source of both water pollution and depleted oxygen levels in water systems.
Animal exploitation - animals needed for the more luxurious and exotic leathers, such as snake, alligator, crocodile, kangaroo, ostrich and deer, can be intentionally farmed for their skins, as their skin is more valuable than their meat.
Chemicals usage - making leather – and in particular the tanning process – usually involves huge quantities of dangerous chemicals, in particular chrome, but also mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives and cyanide-based oils, dyes, and finishes
Toxic pollution - tannery effluent comprises chromium saturated toxic and carcinogenic waste water, which is regularly released into waterways (often deliberately), causing serious harm to industrial tannery workers, the people who rely on the water supply and the eco-system itself.
Energy intensive - turning animal skin into leather requires massive amounts of energy.