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#006 Eco-friendly material called leather | KENTO HASHIGUCHI



(John Lennon / Ono Yoko)


Nowadays, there is a tendency that sustainability is emphasized.

With the passage of time, various movements are being made in fabrics and leather.

From the flow of veganism, plant-derived vegan leather is also spreading to the world.

Have you ever heard of leather made from cacti and mushrooms?

KENTO HASHIGUCHI makes bags using genuine cow leather.

He once wanted to mention this "leather", so I would like to take this opportunity to write my thoughts.

With a basic knowledge of leather.

Where does leather come from in the first place?

Cows are rarely raised and killed for leather in modern times.

As a by-product of edible cows, the raw hide is removed, the hair is removed, and the leather is tanned to prevent it from rotting.

(In Golden Kamuy, there is a scene that talks about how to tan a tattooed human skin, and it seems that the treatment was sweet. The flow is the same for cows)

By the way, in general, "skin" means skin or vegetable skin.

"Leather" refers to "leather that has been tanned by removing hair from the skin of cows and the like."

Therefore, "leather" is used when referring to the kawa used in processed products such as bags and belts.

It's confusing because it's read in the same way, but it has a completely different meaning.

When you contact us for a bag, it is GOOD if you use "leather" instead of "leather". (It doesn't matter which one)

By the way, the word "leather" also means "take the previous one and change the appearance. Change. Change." (Revolution, reform, etc.), and I feel that leather is somewhat connected to the processing process.

Although derailed, "leather" is a by-product of the beef we eat, and if everyone stops eating beef, of course, leather production will decrease.

When mad cow disease broke out a few years ago, cattle production fell and leather prices went up.

The world is full of new human products.

Among them, the existence of leather is a by-product of the indispensable element of human food (aside from whether it is really necessary to eat cows), and the flow to production is simple, natural and familiar. It's easy and feels much more eco-friendly than other materials.

By the way, fur and exotic leather (ostrich, crocodile, etc.) are often grown for leather rather than edible, and many brands have recently declared no fur. Cowhide and these have similar non-production processes. Of course, I don't agree with these leathers, and I'm sure they won't use them in the future.

So what are the recent emergences of vegan leather and artificial leather?

Vegan leather is a plant-derived (cactus, mushroom, etc.) artificial leather with the concept of not using animal origin.

It sounds like it's good when it comes to plant origin, but sometimes the contents aren't.

Of course, 100% cactus, which is the raw material, does not give a leather-like texture. A resin called polyurethane is used together with cactus.

By using this polyurethane etc., the cactus fiber is changed to a leather-like texture.

Personally, artificially producing such things does not come into me as quickly as leather production, but more than that, this resin such as polyurethane is derived from petroleum. There is also a feeling of what is going on while saying that it is environmentally friendly.

Of course, there are some places where the resin used with particular attention is derived from plants, but the actual situation of the resin derived from plants and the materials that "return to the soil" are still suspicious.

Above all, the biggest disadvantage of this resin such as polyurethane is that it is hydrolyzed. After 3 years, it may be worn out by sunlight or moisture in the air.

In that respect, genuine leather is a durable material that will last for more than 10 years if maintained.

With that feeling, I feel that the current situation is that I am not willing to let go of the new generation of artificial leather singing.

To be honest, there is still little information available, and it is hard to say which is the correct answer, but as long as humans eat this much beef, leather raw materials will come out, so I feel that it is natural and good to use it. ..

I'm riding a car called Nissan Pao more than 30 years ago, and I wrote on the blog of a company that is always indebted for car maintenance that "the ultimate eco-car is a car with a low scrap rate." rice field.

Under the current law, vehicle inspection fees will be higher for vehicles that have been in production for more than 13 years. Although it is said to be environmentally friendly in the table, it was actually an economic measure to promote replacement by purchase (I think that it is better to measure with the fuel efficiency of the car if it is really environmentally friendly).

I feel that something similar is likely to apply to the leather I've been talking about. Artificial leather has relatively low durability, and genuine leather is long. If you want to buy a new one as soon as possible, it may be better for the business operator to fail first.

Considering that human beings have been doing whatever they want, I think the current flow of environmental consideration is good, but I want to be careful not to be just on the surface.

In the first place, mass livestock raising of cattle itself may be a problem.

There is also talk of a large amount of beef belching destroying the ozone layer.

In that sense, it may be better for the environment to reduce the livestock production of cattle.

However, the decrease in leather production and consumption does not mean that livestock production will decrease. No force is working in that direction. Because the purpose as meat is the first.

This area is a difficult issue that has been discussed recently.

By the way, KENTO HASHIGUCHI also uses a vinyl (PVC) processed material on cotton canvas.

I will also take this opportunity to mention this PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

PVC is one of the petroleum-based plastics, but it is said that it emits less carbon dioxide. (Compared to 100% petroleum, PVC contains about 40% of petroleum). In addition, it is less prone to hydrolysis and has higher durability than polyurethane, which tends to be used in the same vinyl processing.

It's been over 5 years since I started using this material, but I've never seen the vinyl on the bags I shipped from my house peel off.

In the 1990s, there was a dioxin problem during incineration, but now the problem of toxic gas has been solved by improving the incinerator equipment. (This is not limited to PVC)

There are many dilemmas about environmental consideration in human activities, but I would like to continue to think about various things in the future.



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