The Truth About Leather

A Report by Tokyo Bags

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian.”

― Paul McCartney

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The Leather Industry


Contrary to popular beliefs, leather is not a by-product of the meat and dairy industry.
Animal skins turned into leather are an annual $1.5 billion dollar industry, which directly supports and encourages factory farming/slaughter
Through years of media, the public has been brainwashed by carefully constructed marketing campaigns to perceive eating animals as nutritious and healthy, and wearing their skin or fur is a status of luxury and quality.
Meanwhile, the truth of the leather industry is kept well hidden from society’s view.

What is the truth? These industries thrive on lies and profit from the suffering of animals.

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Leather’s Environmental Impact


The livestock and leather industry is the biggest contributor of environmental degradation worldwide. It produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world combined.
To put this in perspective, the resources required to rear 1 kilogram of leather, can have up to 20 times the environmental impact of 1 kilogram of synthetic material.
Mostly importantly, the industrial waste run off from tanneries pollute the land, air and water supply. Groundwater samples collected near tanneries have shown the presence of highly toxic chemicals which causes diseases such as infections, leukemia and poison in breast milk for the people who lives in the tanneries surrounding areas.

To put into perspective, resources required for 1 kg of leather, can have up to 20 times the environmental impact of 1 kg of synthetic material.

The Truth About Tanning :


Ever smell a piece of fresh leather. That “new leather smell” is actually a chemical reaction between the skin, formaldehyde and chromium salts.
In nature’s process, the skin is the first element to rot or decompose. To prevent that, all leather needs to be tanned before making into consumers goods.
Tanning is one of the most toxic industries in the world because of the chemicals involved. There are 225 chemicals used in the tanning process.
The worst cases of this are in developing countries such as Bangladesh. With little to no safe guards to protect the local population from the toxic impacts of the tanneries, accidents pose great chemical hazards to the workers, who many of them children, where they are not expected to live beyond age 50.
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With little to no safe guards to protect the local population from the toxic impacts of the tanneries, many workers who are children are not expected to live beyond age 50.

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Treatment of Animals


In the leather industry, animals are solely raised for their hide. They are forcefully bred in overcrowded and disease ridden factory farms, where they are confined and subjected to painful mutilations without pain relief such as castration, branding, de-horning and tails being cut off, all for the purpose of producing sheets of great looking leather.
Most animals are taken away from their mothers at birth and develop neurotic behaviors due to confinement and torture.
The process of leather manufacturing requires animals to be transported from farms to slaughterhouse, which many suffers from abuse, neglect and confinement into grossly overcrowded trucks, while being exposed to all weather extremes. Many die of heat exhaustion in the summer, or arrive frozen to death in the winter.
Animals have the same instinct as humans, and they do experience pain.
10 billion animals are slaughtered annually. There is no such thing as humane slaughter ever.

Our Vegan Manifesto


Tokyo Bags is a vegan brand and we are absolutely committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in the production of our bags.
Simply put, we don’t like hurting animals and we aspire that one day, we can look at using animals as materials a thing of the past.
We use only vegan leathers, scientifically known as PU (polyurethane) and PVC (polyvinylchloride). PU is less harmful for the environment than PVC and we make it a point to use it whenever possible.
We continuously try to improve the standards for all our materials. In addition to being vegan, sustainable materials are constantly sourced in design such as cork and rubber. We use only 100% recycled paper packaging with soy based ink printings to ensure we minimize our environmental footprint.
Being environmental conscious on each and every step can cost us up to 80% more to make our bags than other brands – which will will never mark them up for our customers. This is a decision that we stand behind both ethically and environmentally.

Shop Our Vegan Bags Collections


We are committed to being lifetime vegan and animal cruelty-free