Leather is a cash cow for the global fashion industry. No less than 1.5 billion animal hides are used every year to make handbags, shoes, or belts. The leather industry books annual sales world-wide of US$ 82 billion.* Unfortunately, there’s a commonly held misconception that leather is essentially a sustainable waste product of the meat industry. That view is now changing: Headlines about animal suffering, the dubious origins of leather, and toxic chemicals used in tanning processes have sparked change. We are now seeing the emergence of highly promising plant-based alternatives.