Real leather is real sustainability.
As Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton CEO, says in his interview with Business of Fashion, “It was one of the great advances of mankind, when mankind discovered how to render a waste product, hides, into something that is imminently sustainable and durable, can last 100, 200 years: leather.”
Leather is one of the oldest products and it is a by-product of the meat industry. If this by-product were not converted into leather, it would be thrown into a landfill which is a significant environmental risk. Leather as a raw material is renewable, long-lasting and repairable, and developing real leather products is inherently sustainable — in comparison to leather alternatives that tend to contain plastics, PU content, and are made using a ton of chemical substances which is in turn worse for the environment.
Real leather and leather manufacturing is one of the oldest businesses and has also immensely helped in creating employment + sustaining businesses of all sizes.
At the Misnomer HQ, we are manufacturing products in a highly certified production unit that keeps all social and ecological aspects in check. We use leather responsibly from tanneries that adhere to the gold (and silver) standard set by the LWG (aka Leather Working Group) which is an organization that promotes sustainable environmental practices within the leather industry and verifies that we're using sustainable practices in our leather production. We currently use chromium sulphate-free tanned leathers and vegetable-tanned leathers as well from tanneries that recycle and purify wastewater. So even the biggest animal lovers can feel good about buying our investment-worthy leather jackets & bags!
Is real leather environment-friendly and sustainable? The simple answer is ‘yes’. Longevity is the best form of sustainability, and we combine timeless design with thoughtful construction to create pieces that you will reach for year after year and even pass down to the next generation.
In 2023, we’ve introduced organic cotton which is OCS certified at our manufacturing unit and are using it to even line a lot of our pieces — since organic cotton offers an alternative model for more sustainable, regenerative cotton production that supports both farmers & the environment. It is basically cotton grown in agricultural systems that work with nature, rather than against it, by eliminating the use of synthetic pesticides & GMO seeds.
Fun fact: organic cotton currently accounts for less than 1% of total global cotton production. And here at the Misnomer HQ, we want to scale that in whatever small way possible to support farmers since organic production brings them financial benefits as they receive higher market prices for their cotton, while also bringing positive impacts to their land.
Organic farming systems have the potential to sustain and promote the health of soils, ecosystems, and people by relying on ecological processes, biodiversity, and cycles that are adapted to local conditions rather than using external inputs that could have adverse effects. It can also be part of the solution to the threat of climate change, through its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, store away huge amounts of carbon, and enable farmers to be resilient in an evolving climate.
As part of our sustainable initiative, we are also using cotton fabric with the Better Cotton Standard to champion and embed sustainability in cotton production. In just over 10 years, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has become the world’s largest cotton sustainability programme and they aim to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Better Cotton is better for smallholders who can use the knowledge, support and resources BCI provides to grow cotton more sustainably. Improving soil health, water management, greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilience. It is also better for farm workers who benefit from improved working conditions and a higher standard of living and for farming communities where women become more empowered — making it good for people and the planet.
Better Cotton isn’t just a commodity, it’s a movement.
Most of our linings for our real leather products are made using Recycled Polyester, also known as recycled polyethylene terephthalate or rPET for short, as part of our sustainable initiative. It is obtained by melting down existing plastic and re-spinning it into new polyester fibre and has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional polyester.
Creating Recycled Polyester is less polluting, and as per a 2017 life-cycle analysis — manufacturing rPET generates 79% less carbon emissions than producing its virgin counterpart. Reclaiming plastic waste also keeps it from becoming trash—or fodder for marine animals such as turtles and whales.
Here at the Misnomer HQ, we only source from vendors that have strict standards towards recycled fibre content in their fabrics.