According to a recent report by Bloomberg, consumers are increasingly seeking out animal-free apparel such as footwear and wallets—a trend that is putting the more than $90 billion leather industry in jeopardy. “While the shift partly reflects an abundance of choices in materials,” Bloomberg stated, “consumers cite growing discomfort with the slaughter of cattle and concern over the environmental impact of raising them by the millions.” While athletic footwear sales grew by 14.3 percent in 2016, the sales of leather shoes plummeted by 12 percent and experts predict the downward trend for leather will continue. During a recent conference call, PayPal CEO Daniel Schulman predicted that the iconic leather billfold wallet would become obsolete in 10 years. “Dead-cow wallets,” Schulman said “… will be a thing of the past” as consumers choose more modern materials and move away from paper-based money. Market research firm Grand View Research recently predicted that the global vegan leather industry will continue to grow to be worth $85.05 billion by 2025.
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