El Nochero is fully committed with the concept "Social Awareness", and we do everything into our possibilities to fulfil with that, taking care both social and ecological aspects.
The concept of “Social Consciousness” related to industry and commerce is relatively new, extremely broad and covers many aspects to have in mind like, human, social and also related to the ecology. But, most cases and especially when it comes to making clothing (footwear, jackets, handbags and bags, accessories, etc.) it is understood or related more to ecology than to human and social aspects, which is without a doubt, it is a mistake.
The Social Conscience must and in fact takes into consideration first the human and social aspects of a productive and / or commercial activity, this is for example, the elimination of child labour, slave labour, racism, black work or informal; as well as the level of salaries, social benefits and the quality of the working conditions of the people who carry it out.
Then the ecological aspects of the activity are evaluated, starting from the environmental impact that it has, such as pollution, contamination, land degradation, use of aggressive chemicals, supplies derived from petroleum (synthetic materials), raw materials and what is the biodegradability of these. The bad treatment of animals, or the death of animals only to use the skin, for example, lizard, snakes, otter, marten, mink, ermine, fox, chinchilla, astrakhan, etc.
As manufacturers and / or merchants, we can very easily choose and commit ourselves to comply with the aforementioned human and social aspects, it is simply a matter of “making the decision”, clearly it is a matter of conscience and there are no justifiable conditions that prevent doing it properly. Of course, the costs are much higher, so it all comes down to a question of prices. But when
it comes to ecology, there are many challenges to solve, some of them insoluble now. In addition, it is important to highlight that each case and kind of industry and / or product have, in the ecological sense, a particular analysis and evaluation, which is influenced by many different variables, both in the manufacturing process and also with availability and accessibility of the raw material costs.
The foregoing gives the guideline that, in relation to ecology, it is not "simply" a matter of conscience and commitment, it is not only "making the decision", but there are a large number of conditioning factors that, eventually, do not allow or they make it very difficult to reach the level of ecological respect that would be ideal.
Related to the clothing confection, in many cases the ecology has an extremely poor real meaning, since it is mostly more a marketing tool than real ecological care. To mention an example, what is the real difference in ecological impact between a leather shoe and a canvas shoe made from natural fabrics, if both use a rubber or plastic sole made with petroleum-based chemicals, Or between a natural leather jacket and one made with a synthetic imitation leather (very badly called eco-leather)?
The leather and the canvas or cloth are completely biodegradable and in a more or less similar period of time, as long as we talk about canvas or natural cloth, but both products also contaminate by the sole with which they were made (plastic or rubber). In summary, at the level of ecological “damage” they are the same. As I mentioned before, it is only a matter of marketing and not of ecology.
Leather has been used in garments since thousands of years and always, when the first garment was made with leather thousands of years ago, the leather used was, is and will be a "subproduct" of a much more important industry, feeding (the meat). That is, that the leather arises from the slaughter of animals for food. El Nochero does NOT use leathers that do not come from slaughter animals and we are totally committed with this concept. The day that no more animals are slaughtered because people stopped eating meat, at El Nochero we’ll stop using these leathers to produce garments.
Trying to bring this issue to an understandable reality, let's do a theoretical exercise and suppose that slaughter animals' leather is no longer used in any kind of product, would this imply that they stop slaughtering animals? Of course not, as long as there are people who consume meat, the slaughter of animals will continue and if the main subproduct of slaughter, which is "leather", is not used, what would happen?
Simply the leather would be a surplus (waste) that would be thrown away and contaminate the same as if it is part of a jacket, shoe, wallet, or any other product that contains it. With the aggravating factor of the loss of thousands and thousands of jobs in the industry. So, what place does the loss of job sources have within the social consciousness, adding to this that ecology does not benefit at all?
Is it possible that we are making an important error of interpretation, letting ourselves be carried away by marketing terms? For example, isn't it a serious mistake to think that a garment made with natural leather is less ecological than one made with the misnamed “ecological leather ”, being the latter a synthetic material made with petroleum derivatives and that takes thousands of years to degrade? How eco-friendly is the “eco-leather”?
There are many more cases and examples to analyse on this subject, which will be part of future notes on our blog; but to end the note, I leave a question that should be asked to a large number of consumers and that as it is answered we will be able to clearly see what position the majority has regarding ecology.
What jacket would you buy choosing between one made by hand by artisans, with natural leather, sewn with natural cotton threads and metallic zip or another exactly the same visually, but industrially made, with ecological leather, sewn with nylon thread and plastic zip, being that the first one, that of natural leather, costs less than half?