One of the greatest benefits to working with leather is that it is a material that will last a lifetime (or three or four) when well taken care of.
Unlike faux leather, pleather, or “vegan leathers”, real leather stands the test of time. Those leather replacements may crack and peel within months of purchase, leaving yet another plastic based, fast fashion piece that won’t break down in the landfill.
All the leather that we sell here at The Leather Guy is a by-product of the meat industry. If these hides weren’t tanned they would be headed straight for the dump and be a total waste.
So, aside from leather being a repurposed product from the food industry, you may be wondering what we personally do here at TLG to help cut back on waste. Let’s talk about that!
Shipping and packing materials
We’ve been lucky enough to source packing materials from other local businesses to use when shipping out your orders! When our neighbors receive shipments, they would usually toss all the packing material right in the trash. Instead, they bring it to us and we upcycle these items for a lot of our orders.
We also make sure that every order goes out in an appropriate size box. Unlike some of the big name stores out there, we won’t throw a bag of snaps in an oversized box. This leaves more room on delivery trucks and planes so that each of their trips is carrying all they can and cutting down on the carbon footprint each delivery creates.
From clothes to boots to furniture, leather is used in a lot of commercial settings. Factories don’t typically have a use for all the scraps they create and would ultimately just toss them in the landfill. That’s where we come in! We purchase large quantities of our scrap to keep them from going into the bin. There is a lot of life left in these pieces and this ensures that more of the hide is used and kept out of the dump.
We also utilize our scrap in items we sell. Those sample rings that everyone loves so much? Those are clicked from our scrap instead of wasting good sized pieces of leather. We strive to waste as little as possible around here.
We have several bins throughout the warehouse to encourage each of us to make better decisions about our trash each day. Cans, glass bottles, cardboard, and paper waste all get sorted here in house.
Plus, all our printer paper gets a second use before it heads to the recycling bin. When we run our packing slips, they only print on one side. So we flip them over and load them right back into the printer so we get all the use we can out of each piece!
You may have noticed you don’t receive packing slips with your orders. Well, because we try to reuse every piece of paper, we don’t send them. If you ever need to look up your order, it is saved under your account on the website and you can check them and print them anytime you may need to!
When it comes to our printers, we utilize Best Buy’s recycling program for our ink cartridges. There’s one not too far from us, so it’s a quick trip to make sure they don’t end up in a landfill!
Cut down our plastic usage.
If you’ve shopped with us for a long time, you may remember that once upon a time, there was always plastic wrapped around your orders. Ultimately, this just wasn’t needed for all leathers. In most cases, we were able to switch out the plastic for paper wrapping, meaning it could more easily be recycled or reused by our customers.
Rest assured we are always looking for new ways to improve our warehouse and operations in ways that are more eco friendly!