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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Faux Leather Belt

I've been slowly (slowly only because of lack of money) phasing out my leather goods since becoming a "Buddhist" and becoming a vegetarian. Well, the other day I took my first step toward being "leather free." I ordered a "faux leather" belt and it is really nice. In fact, I like it more then any leather belt I've owned!! Part of it I think is the satisfaction and peace of mind knowing I'm not supporting the killing of animals. However, functionally speaking It is just as thick, pliable and supportive as any leather belt I've ownd. It appears very durable and I expect it will last a long time. My next step is getting a non-leather wallet, then non-leather, sweatshop free shoes and finally getting a new couch. Unfortunately the non-leather products tend to cost more but they are worth the peace of mind for my money. And the more people purchase these products the more the cost will inevitably go down.

We also try to buy as much organic food as possible. As well as non-toxic products. Every little bit helps. We are also big recyclers. The town we live in has a great recycling program. They sell bins for recycling. One (a blue one) for all paper products (including paperboard which includes most grocery boxes and other products. And then a green one for glass, certain plastic bottles, and tin cans. You just leave the bins out on the curb next to the garbage and they actually pick it up for you! It's really nice. Plus, we have a recycle plant near by that takes cardboard, phone books and the other products mentioned above. So it really annoys me when people around here throw glass bottles in the regular trash. We have such a great recycling program but people are too lazy to hold on to that bottle, take it home and put it where it belongs. I guess though I can only do my part and encourage others to do the same. I can't (nor should I) force people into doing it.

~Peace to all beings~

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Dharmasattva said...

Good for you, James.

What's kept me from going 100% leather-free is a concern (perhaps unfounded) that alternative, cruelty-free materials like farmed cotton and petroleum-based leather substitutes are a burden on the environment. I love hemp but it's very expensive and it's hard to get professional-looking clothing in hemp :-( I'm not sure what you do for a living but perhaps you've looked into this.

With metta,


Chris Bogart said...

James --
I noticed some belts for sale at Target (the one at Colorado and Cherry Creek North) were fake leather -- not advertised as such, but if you look at the back they're stamped as being fake. It seems you can find some leather substitutes by looking for "cheap" stuff than by just looking at what's being marketed to vegetarians!

"James" said...


I've looked into hemp a bit but not enough to know that much lol.


Oh cool!! Thanks for the tip!

... ./|\. ... said...

i came across your blog when i did a search on buddhism and i applaud you for going non-leather. it is really hard to do and definitely a lot more expensive. i wish there were more ways to wear non-leather items and not damage the earth at the same time. for now, i focus on the non-leather part of it.

p.s.-may i ask where you got the belt?

Joanna Terpstra said...

I struggle with the leather/non-leather dilema. Our reliance on oil is at an all-time high and the cause of much war and suffering.

Our over-plasticized society relies on oil for just about everything we use - cars, computers, cameras, furniture, clothes, shoes, swimming pools, packaging, pharmacueticals, etc.

Even with picture framing where plastic mouldings are touted as more environmentally friendly than timber, I wonder if they are... when will this plastic break down? How much pollution was caused in creating it? Who was killed to make that oil available for our use?

When I think of "first do no harm", if I look deeply into it, as a human being on this planet, just about everything I do causes harm. Does that mean I should do nothing?

How can I be for peace when the global answer seems to point to having less people on this planet?

And the really frightening question is - what will happen if we all became vegetarian overnight? Would man allow animals to live if there was no profit for him in it?

There are so many questions, but we can only do the best that we can - so I remain vegetarian and try to keep my ecological footprint to a minimum, solar power, rainwater, and no unnecessary travelling.

"James" said...


I agree with you that I'd rather go with the save the animals part of the equation.

I got the faux leather belt at MooShoes


Yeah the oil thing bothers me too. I wish that I could afford a hybrid car. Someday.

Picture frames we try to buy wooden ones.

There are indeed so many questions. And some of it we can not change or control. We have to go with the flow. I think we just have to do our best and maintain Right Intention.

Adam said...

if you already own leather goods, and production of synthetic and organic materials causes pollution - would you not be causing less suffering by keeping your existing leather goods instead of contributing their bulk to landfills?

James Ure said...


Good point on the landfill. It think then we will keep our leather couches. I hate to sit wrapped in leather but if it saves on the landfills then that is probably better.

Mark said...

Came across this blog looking for some non leather products... If you do not want to keep your leather couches but do not want to throw them away (adding to landfill) you may want to simply donate them to a Goodwill or similiar organization. I am sure there are plenty of omni families out there that can make use of them.

They call him James Ure said...

Mark: Yeah I'm going to donate them to Goodwill for sure when we can afford new ones. :)

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