Leather kills the rainforest

You are possibly walking or driving all over the rainforest, without even knowing it. Leather is a silent assassin of the Amazon.

The Amazon rainforest is being destroyed at an alarming rate.

Deforestation in Brazil reached a 12 year high in 2020, with over 1 million hectares of rainforest destroyed. Cattle raising is the one activity causing the most deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

214 million

Size of the Brazilian cattle herd.

50 percent

Share of the herd raised in Legal Amazon

Operating in the shadow of beef production is the leather industry. Leather might seem like a less important biproduct of meat production.

It’s not. Leather is a billion-dollar industry that supplies the raw material for shoes, furniture and heaps of other products.

Like car seats.

Here's how you might have contributed to deforestation:

The European car industry is the second largest in the world only surpassed by Asia. Europe produced 18.6 million passenger cars in 2019 .

We have found that the top five European car manufacturers run a high risk of contributing to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, by sourcing leather from big clients of Brazilian companies linked to large-scale deforestation.

In stark contrast to beef, little attention has been drawn to the deforestation risk of leather from cows that have grazed in the Amazon. But whilst 80 percent of Brazilian beef remains in the domestic market, as much as 80 percent of the bovine leather production in Brazil is exported.

18 million

Passenger cars produced in Europe in 2019.

Almost half of the Brazilian cattle herd is raised in the Legal Amazon, a region that also concentrates the largest slaughtering capacity in the country.

Cattle are often moved in first to the graze on newly cut down forest, and prepare the land for other forms of agriculture like soy production.

Bovine leather has one of the most complex supply chains in the global commodity market.

Transparency and effective traceability systems are close to non-existent in leather supply chains.

Sign our petition

Pleading ignorance is no excuse for killing the rainforest

Demand that all companies using Brazilian leather clean up their supply chains and stop contributing to deforestation. Sign here