Bonded leather is made from the scraps and fibers leftover from manufacturing genuine leather, mixed with a polyurethane binder. These scraps are then rolled together using adhesives to bind the fibres together, onto a paper backing. A polyurethane coating may be added and embossed to create the texture of real leather. Most bonded leather only contains 10 to 20 percent real leather.
Faux leather is also known as polyurethane leather or PU leather. It is an artificial leather made of thermoplastic polymer. One hundred percent PU leather will be completely vegan, unlike some types of faux leather, called bi-cast leather, that have actual leather. Bicast leather takes the fibrous part of cowhide leftover from manufacturing real leather and adds a layer of polyurethane on top.
Leather manufacturing industries generate an alarming amount of solid waste. On average, it’s around 50% of the initial raw material.
The process of making leather into a workable and versatile material involves large amounts of water and toxic chemicals. If disposed of incorrectly, leather can contaminate the earth and produce harmful gases.
By recycling and reusing leather scrap and offcuts, reduces the demand for virgin leather and the harmful production process it requires. Leather scraps can be collected from furniture, shoes and old garments.
This leather is then mulched into shreds, combined with water and then mixed with binding products such as natural rubber and wood bark. The leather pulp is then formed into a sheet and mechanically processed to a specific size, colour and even texture.
Discarded non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years. That’s why we should all be making a conscious effort when it comes to our environmental impact, whether that’s reusing materials like leather or choosing to work alongside a manufacturer who has sustainable offerings and products.
To help you out, we’ve created our Eco-Friendly Product Guide. You can learn all about what a branding specialist has to offer to support your more eco-friendly footprint.