Leather is primitive and not a good fabric, unless you’re a caveman and that’s all you have. Kill an animal, skin it, and wear the fur. Okay caveman, nice work. But, we have learned to grow cotton and weave fabric, why did we continue to use leather?
Leather is marketed as a luxury item; It’s luxury for idiots. It is expensive, which makes sense because there are a lot of costs associated with producing leather, you know – cow killing. But, other than the cost, why is leather considered a luxury? In terms of performance, it sucks. Leather is both heavy and delicate; it stretches out of shape yet rips easily. A leather jacket will not keep you warm or dry, but a leather car seat will surely burn your butt.
As an outspoken vegan, animal rights activist, and social critic in general, I feel compelled to warn you about leather. Here is a list of items to avoid; it is not comprehensive by any means, but it is a start. I have numbered them, but forgot how many there actually are.
1. Leather jackets –
Leather jackets are a poor choice in terms of both performance and style. They feel heavy and weigh you down, yet they are not warm, feel stiff like a tarp, yet are not waterproof. There are way better performing materials available. Regardless, some of us will wear a leather jacket in an ill-advised attempt to look cool, maybe like a biker, when in reality we sell insurance.
2. Leather watch bands-
I wore a leather watch to a spin class once, and only once. It became wet with sweat and even soaking it overnight in cologne would not kill the smell. Learn from my experience and avoid stinky leather watches. There are plenty of cool metal, plastic and wooden watches out there.
3. Leather belts-
They stretch. No, you’re not the same waist size as when you got married. Your belt is stretching and your pants are dropping below your belly. Stop kidding yourself; be real and get a fabric belt because they never stretch and will keep you honest about your current level of fitness. Or you could be like me, and get one with elastic, it takes the pressure off.
4. Leather car seats –
A luxury item in overpriced cars, leather seats will burn your ass all summer and then rip. Do you like the look of duct tape repairs?
5. Leather sofas –
A festival of scratches and rips, also, are you a fan of butt sweat? Bonus – every time you move just a little, adjusting your position the slightest bit, awkward fart noises.
6. Leather shoes-
For high performance footwear, the military, police, hikers, and professional athletes all prefer modern synthetic fibers over leather because leather stretches out and fits poorly, is too heavy, and won’t keep your feet dry in the rain.
7. Leather gloves-
They don’t keep your hands warm or dry. Try to go skiing in them, as I did back in college when I forgot my gloves and tried to wing it with a pair of heavy-duty leather work gloves that I had, by chance, in the car. Bad idea, they were useless, leaving my hands wet and cold. Within an hour, I threw them in the trash and instead, to keep my hands warm, pulled the nylon sleeves of my jacket over them; it worked much better. Years later, I remember doing some light gardening in a pair of leather gloves. It was blister city, my friend.
8. Leather pants-
Uncomfortable, not just to look at but also to wear. Regretfully, I know from experience. I could say that the pants in question were a gift, but no, I purchased them of my own volition. They were on sale, big time, and right before Christmas. I did the deal, and, thinking I was fabulous, that night sat through a ballet in them, the nutcracker. I returned the leather pants the next day, right as the store opened, and no questions were asked by the polite salesman at the counter who seemed to expect to see me back with these pants, his look said, “I could have warned you.” So, let this be your warning: no leather pants. Of all things leather, they are the absolute worst.
There are a lot of other things made from leather to avoid. I just thought of leather shoe laces. Why? One word – snap. I bet you can think of some other good examples as well. The bottom line is: leather is a poor material in terms of performance, so let’s leave cows alone, moooo.