Leather on the brain

A brief questionnaire: 1. Are you a vegetarian? 2. Do you buy leather items, such as shoes, belts, purses, wallet or sofas? If you answered “yes” to the first question, it may be incongruous to be purchasing the skin that once housed that flesh that you abstain from eating. The pollution from leather processing—especially in countries such as China and India, where most leather is produced—has a huge negative environmental impact with little regulation and low-paid workers, to boot. What to do? Like with food, read the product’s composition labels. Look for plant-based or “man-made” materials.