We use microfibre as an alternative to leather in the creation of our shoes and accessories. Under the microscope, microfibre is the only material that is similar to that of the dermis or skin.
The production of microfibre is sustainable as the whole process is based on the water cycle. It is therefore 100% solvent free.
All production takes place in units certified to ISO 9001/14001. These units reduce:
- wastewater by 70%
- the use of organic solvents by 99%
- CO2 emissions by 35%
This process is cost-effective. There are no imperfections in the end-product which means no wastage. More importantly it does not contain hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde, phthalates, heavy metals, forbidden dyes, and allergen dispersed dyes.
Environmental impact of animal leather
Some people may think that because companies combine the words ‘sustainable fashion’ with ‘leather’ that it must be environmentally friendly. This is not the case, in fact the leather industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, even a plastic synthetic shoe is less harmful to the environment.
Meat and leather production are responsible for 18% of glasshouse gases: every cow produces 8.75 kg of methane per year. Methane is a very powerful gas and has an environmental impact that is 25 times stronger than CO2.
The side effects of tanning and colouring leather
As natural products leather and furs have to undergo a specific treatment process.
Animal skins used to produce garments and accessories are treated with countless caustic and toxic chemicals, to prevent decomposition. This is a total contradiction of what most people expect when purchasing a product made from a natural material.
Tanning is among the most toxic industries in the world due to the chemicals. Chromium, a renowned carcinogenic substance, is widely used together with acids, sodium and ammonium.
Samples taken of groundwater in the vicinity of tanning industries are dangerously high in chromium, lead, formaldehyde and even cyanide. Substances known to induce cancer and many other potentially fatal conditions have also been found.
This is why at SQUARe027 we choose to produce only vegan shoes and accessories that use mostly natural materials, or synthetic materials with a low environmental impact.