Sustainable Sources, where does our leather come from?

Sustainable Sources 

Sustainability has become an extremely important issue not just at J. Wood Leathers, but on a global scale. When it comes to sustainability in the leather trade, customers don’t always have such a positive outlook. Leather production is often linked with industrial farming, deforestation, processing of animals and chemical pollution. We source all of our hides and skins from reliable, sustainable tanneries from around the world. The animal skins, the actual raw material used for the production of our leathers is an unavoidable bi-product of the animal based food chain, specifically the meat, wool and dairy markets. Globally less than 2% of farmed animals are bread specifically for their hides. We don’t stock any rare or “exotic” animal leathers.

We will always endeavour to use the most sustainable sources for our leathers whenever possible. As an example, our Seal Skins are sourced directly from Inuit hunters in Greenland, each individual skins is bar coded and certified. The animals are hunted for food- a traditional way of life which goes back centuries. 


Environmental Impact 

Tanning is an industrial process involving many chemical products. Accordingly we are very conscious of which chemicals are used in the tanning of our leathers. Every one of our trusted and reputable suppliers strive to ensure that all environmental rules and regulations are met, in terms of both the chemicals and the processes used. Many of our suppliers are substituting the toxic chromium/solvent based chemicals of yester year for much more environmentally friendly water based alternatives. All of our leathers comply with European standards.

We regularly submit our leather for REACH and BLC testing. This ensures that our leathers continue to meet with British and EU standards. We are happy to supply customers with said test results upon request. Please be advised that this will likely incur an additional surcharge as different tests will be required depending on the customer’s specific project specifications.


Vegetable Tanning

Vegetable tanning is a much more ethical and environmentally friendly way of producing and tanning leather. This is a more traditional method which has been around for thousands of years and uses naturally occurring ingredients as opposed to solvents and chemicals. The leather is soaked in a bath of tannins found in barks, wood and other parts of plants, often for several weeks if not months at a time. This lengthy, and therefore expensive process, often yields the best quality and most desirable leather which is ideal for carving, embossing and tooling. We specialise in the stocking of vegetable tanned leathers, both natural and dyed. We pride ourselves in stocking the finest quality. Large, clean skins showing little growth, scars or flay marks offer good, cost effective cutting for large patterns and long belts. Please click here for more information on our Natural Veg Tan leathers and please click here for more information regarding our dyed through veg tanned leathers.