Allbirds put its best foot forward when it stepped into the sustainable footwear sphere. Now, the company is going further with the development of a new, plant-based leather. Made with rubber, vegetable oil and other natural ingredients, this leather alternative, aptly named Plant Leather, has 40 times less carbon impact than animal-derived leather and 17 times less carbon impact than synthetic leathers made from plastics.
The leather industry is a huge polluter. Many chemicals are used to process leather, and tanneries generate a lot of waste. The runoff from leather production negatively impacts air and water quality. It also means killing animals in order to use their hides. While this used to be done in a more sustainable, nose-to-tail manner for thousands of years, today, the process of making leather is not environmentally friendly