I am honored to be writing the very first article on this blog while celebrating the launch of the Allure Sauvage e-shop!
If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’ve already had a look at their superb designs and that you are aware of the ideas and values behind the brand: Trendy accessories, sustainability, attractive colors, plant-based, craftsmanship and ethics. I believe these words summarize well the collection and values of Allure Sauvage.
But these bags from pineapple leaves, approved by PETA, wouldn’t that be more of a hippy thing? No, believe me, it truly is the future! And it’s only the beginning. Why, you should ask ?
Because « traditional » leather has extremely negative consequences, for the environment but also for your health, and do not get me started on ethics:
- Leather comes of course from animal skin. However, animal agriculture is responsible for over 14% of CO2 emissions (meaning more than transportation).
- Tanning, the act of preparing leather for it to be « wearable», uses a cocktail of chemicals such as chrome which pollutes groundwaters but also has an enormous impact on the health of people working in this industry! In fact, the leather industry was classified 5th most polluting industry in 2011.
- Animal agriculture, therefore leather, represents over 50 billion animals bred in the simple goal of being killed each year. Lives taken for pleasure, a « luxury » which could be easily be fulfilled in different ways.
Moreover, the origine of leather is quite vague. During a PETA study in China a few years ago revealed that there is a great possibility that dog leather was found on the leather market in our western countries. Immediately less glam when it comes from a dog…
These arguments are only few aspects of the negative consequences of leather and reasons why plant-based alternatives are those we should be aiming for.
A current example? Fur is disappearing from the « fashion industry » because its image of luxury and glamour is crumbling. The same will come to leather soon. Why be outraged to see someone wear animal’s fur and not its skin? In both cases, it is to wear a dead animal. Sad reality…
What about leatherette ? Made from oil, it has nothing sustainable. That is why these last few years number of plant-based alternatives have come to light, like the one chosen by Allure Sauvage for their first collection: A non-woven fabric made from pineapple leaf-fibers !
For one meter of pineapple « leather », we need 16 plants of pineapple. This allows to utilize all waste resulting from the pineapple production (leaves), which is why Pinâtex creates only 5% of waste compared to 25% for animal leather! The culture needs a lot less water than animal agriculture and the products used to treat this textile are far less harmful than the ones from the leather industry.
Moreover, let’s not forget that pineapple is not an extensive agriculture, as compared to Palm! Ananas-anam, the company making Pinâtex, only works with fair-trade cooperatives and makes sure the employees have good working conditions.
Additionally, the accessories offered by Allure Sauvage are made in Geneva by skilled craftsmen. They first wanted to find a more « social » solution but the final look wasn’t the one wanted. The will to find protected workshops to work with is however still planned!
It is legitimate to ask if the pineapple leather might not become a new industry just as evil for the environment if it was used on a large scale. But the advantage of plant-based leathers is that possibilities are almost infinite: Apple leather, mushroom leather, tea, algae… so many products that we already consume and of which waste could be used to create new materials without ethical issues and far less faulty consequences for our planet and our health!
In conclusion, I hope one day everyone will wear materials made from sustainable natural materials. And who knows, maybe Allure Sauvage will be able to showcase their products on the most amazing catwalks! That is at least what I hope for them.
While wishing for this day, do not forget to drop by their e-shop and talk to your friends about this upcoming brand. The plants revolution is taking place!
 Do not confuse with vegetal tanning which is done on animal skin.