Paper, plastic, aluminum and glass—this is the list of recyclable materials that most of us think of when we hear "recycling". But, when you’re thinking green, it’s important to think outside the box (and the recycling bin). Did you know that leather was recyclable too?

The material itself goes by a few names; recycled leather, bonded leather, or composite leather. This recycled leather material is created using scraps from tanneries and other industries that use and discard the remnants. The scraps are shredded, treated, bonded to another fabric, and colored uniformly. The end result is a leather-like material that is—while often less than 50% leather in total—durable, cleanable, and sustainable.

Another option is to stop at the shredding process. The strands of shredded leather can be used to make products like our recycled leather rugs. Here, the leather strips have been woven together to create a 100% repurposed leather product. Leather scraps can be used to make small leather goods too, such as key chains or small wallets.

Regardless of how it is upcycled or repurposed, leather plays an important role in sustainability. The production of leather often uses large amounts of natural resources and can have high greenhouse gas emissions. The best way to obtain the beautiful, high-quality product you want without the environmental impact is to look for leather that has been given a second, eco-conscious life.