Leather waste is the leftover cuttings of leather materials that are a result of cutting the original desired shapes needed to make a product. They are also widely known as off cuts; this waste is often seen as being too small to use for something else or contains damages.
Approximately 60% of a piece of leather can be wasted as offcuts due to damages or lack of care in the automotive, fashion and interior industries, and these offcuts are usually disposed of in landfill or burned, which directly links to air pollution and environmental damage.
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By far the largest quantity of leather waste is generated at the cutting stage. In industrial processing of leather, large amounts of cutting waste is produced especially in the furniture and vehicle sector amounting generally between 30-45%. For furniture sets with large individual surfaces, the wastage can be as high as 80%. A leather skin is never homogeneous or perfectly rectangular and the quality can really fluctuate and be quite poor at the side of the skin, which creates obstacles to reduce leather waste as it doesn’t allow for full optimisation.