Leather is a luxurious material. With leather, good ol' Mother Nature produced a material that is durable, flexible, and warm. It provides adequate protection for its bearer, especially the cow. However, the flipside of leather as a luxe product is the raising and slaughtering of cattle, and honestly, are those shoes worth that? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the production, processing, and distribution of meat and related materials require huge outlays of pesticides, fertilizer, fuel, feed, and water while releasing greenhouse gases, manure and a range of toxic chemicals into our air and water. Some luxury designers, like Stella McCartney, understood ethical eco-fashion long ago and banned leather and fur from all her collections. Now, other designers can easily follow suit. The company Modern Meadow is chemically reproducing leather in ways that are less impactful on the environment. Their product looks, feels, insulates, and even smells like natural leather. I am waiting for my Modern Meadow jacket from Stella McCartney in the near future!