WHY IS WEARING LEATHER ECO-RESPONSIBLE?
Leather is born from nature. However, it is nothing without the man who takes care of it, transforms it, rehabilitates it so that it becomes a sumptuous and living leather. Its naturalness and nobility make it a material with high added value. --The National Leather Council
Recycling and the circular economy
Before ending up in your wardrobe, leather goes through many stages. These are several economic sectors that influence both the quality and quantity of the raw material that is the hide.
Breeding --> Slaughterhouse --> Food chain --> Raw hide traders -->Tannery --> Clothing --> La Canadienne
The leather industry "valorises waste" because the majority of hides come from farmed animals. Indeed, animals are not bred for their skins but primarily for milk or meat consumption, with the exception of certain species such as reptiles...
Good to know: At La Canadienne, we have decided since September 2020 to no longer distribute exotic leather as it is not derived from the food industry.
Approximately 7 million tons of hides are used for cattle consumption each year worldwide. If the leather industry did not exist, then the hides would simply be waste to be disposed of and processed, which would have far more negative impacts on the environment. The leather industry is indeed the oldest recycling activity in the world as it transforms the hide of an animal raised for its meat or milk into a renewable material.
Leather has many advantages and is the ideal garment to wear during the mid-season. It is hardwearing and has the natural warmth of the body; it is warm because of its windproof properties. Leather is a durable material over time. Once purchased, your leather garment will last a minimum of ten years. This is due in particular to its robustness.
Buying your leather from La Canadienne is also a guarantee that your purchase will be durable. Lifetime warranty and after-sales service (repair, transformation, degreasing, depigmentation) will allow you to keep your leather pieces as long as possible and sometimes even give them a second wind.
Good to know: Since September 2020, La Canadienne guarantees, in this process of longevity of your products, the lifetime wear on its manufacture (La Canadienne brand).
Learn more about our after-sales services >
Tanning is the essential operation that consists of transforming the raw hide into leather and thus going from waste to raw material. It is an operation that has an environmental impact.
Approximately 80-85% of all leather goes through chrome tanning, a mineral tannin agent.
The remaining 15-20% is vegetable tanned using natural tannins (bark, wood, roots or leaves).
Before the tanning stage, most of the time, only cold and salt are used to preserve the many raw hides.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LEATHER
There are many different types of leather and tanning processes (mineral or vegetable) and just as many different finishes. All these singularities lead to different names for this noble natural material. However, one should not confuse vegetable leather with vegan leather (or eco-leather).
Vegetable leather is a shorthand for vegetable-tanned leather. Vegetable leather is indeed derived from an animal (sheep, calf, cow or goat). However, the skin has been transformed by chrome-free vegetable tanning agents, as opposed to a so-called mineral tanning.
Vegan leather, also known as eco-leather, is made from vegetable fibres (grapes, pineapples) and has the appearance of leather after numerous applications of several coatings and therefore after the use of chemical products for the most part.
THE ECO-FRIENDLY LABEL
La Canadienne's teams, concerned about leaving the smallest possible ecological footprint, are committed to a more responsible approach and to a more thoughtful consumption: to produce the best pieces that will accompany you for a lifetime. This is the logic behind our new collection with eco-friendly labelled models under the La Canadienne brand. You can now find our models with this logo.
What does this label mean?
Our Indian partner's tannery takes great care not to dump water and used components into the surrounding rivers, but to always recycle and reuse, thus creating a virtuous circle. Our partner works under the following well-known patents: ATP (Afluent treatment plant) & RO (Reverse osmosys water treatment). In India, only a handful of tanneries and factories are doing this today.
Our Indian manufacturing facility, which produces part of our leather collections, processes the hides in a tannery excluding the use of the following three chemical components: AZO / PCP / CHROME 6.
These three chemical components are prohibited in Europe by the REACH regulation because they can be harmful to the planet and the ecology, and sometimes even to health, as is the case with the Chrome 6 component, resulting from the misuse of Chrome 3.
OUR SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ROLE IN CANADA
In addition to all this ecological and sustainable aspect, La Canadienne imposes numerous rules regarding the traceability of all the skins used. For this reason, since 2015, the place of manufacture (confection) is specified for each model, whereas European regulations do not require it. Also when the information is given, the origin of the skin is specified. In the long term, La Canadienne is working to be able to offer a wide selection of traceable models.
La Canadienne pays close attention to three essential points that make a model traceable:
The Made In (or country of manufacture in the sense of clothing)
The origin of the skin (origin of the breeding place)
The location of the tannery
The Made In is important in terms of the social commitment and working conditions of the employees.
The origin of the hide refers to the place of breeding and concerns animal welfare while being linked to the geographical notion (respect for the environment, deforestation, etc)
The location of the tannery is important in terms of carbon impact (waste, air and water treatment)
Since spring 2020, La Canadienne has been working on a sustainable charter that aims to increase the transparency of the clothes it produces and distributes, from the leather, wool and fur industries to the down jacket industry.
Numerous audits of its manufacturers and suppliers are underway to meet four commitments:
The environmental commitment
Commitment to animal welfare
The transmission of know-how
LEXICON OF WORK
Chromium: chemical agent used for the mineral tanning of leather. Some forms of chromium, particularly chromium 6, can be dangerous to health.
Chromium 6: the result of a drift of chromium 3 following a bad use or a bad association
Tanning: this is the operation aimed at transforming the raw hide into leather through the use of tanning agents.
Tannin: this refers to all substances that enable tanning. These substances can be vegetable or chemical in nature.