How To Recycle Leather (7 Different Ways)

Genuine leather goods can be resold at a good price, and they can also be donated online or sold to recycling or local reuse organizations.

Here Are Ways You Can Recycle Leather:

Leather scraps can be used for craft projects or by recycling companies to create new products.

However, it’s not easy to recycle leather shoes and worn-out leather bags and accessories. So, it’s better to give them to a local charity or donate them online.

In this article, we will look at various aspects of how leather can be recycled or reused. We will also look at if it’s possible to repair cracked or damaged leather and dispose of it properly without causing any harm to the environment.

And finally, we will discuss some of the most popular leather products that you can make using recyclable leather.

So, let’s get started.

Is Leather Recyclable?

Leather is completely recyclable, and it should be recycled to reduce the waste produced during manufacturing leather handbags, leather shoes, and leather accessories, such as belts, wallets, and keychains.

Leather scraps collected from old garments, handbags and furniture is shredded down and then combined with water and some binding materials to form a pulp.

This pulp is then rolled into sheets and mechanically processed to get the desired texture and color.

If the leather scraps are large in size, they can make smaller leather goods like belts and wallets.

The recycled leather comes with all the characteristics of natural virgin leather, and it’s actually very durable.

Moreover, the goods made from this recycled leather are much less expensive than products made from virgin leather.

How Do You Dispose of Leather?

Proper disposal of leather goods is important to save the environment. Many ways can be used to dispose of leather properly, and one of them is to reuse it or recycle it to make new products.

Old leather can be cut into strips to use as door hinges or converted into dog collars. Some artists also take leather scraps and convert them into beautiful bracelets and other items.

If you are unsure how to reuse or repurpose old leather, take your unwanted leather items to a local recycling company.

Another way to dispose of leather is to donate the goods to a charity organization or any family you know in need.

If you are looking for ideas to convert your old leather belts, wallets, and other items into something creative, check out our section on the 10 most popular recyclable leather products.

Can Cracked Leather Be Repaired?

Genuine leather products can be costly, and if you get them damaged or cracked, it becomes difficult to sell them off for a good price.

The good news is, you can get your cracked leather repaired by just following a few simple steps.

First, light leather cracks can be filled by using a strong conditioner in the form of a leather cream.

This product is easily available on the market, and it contains wax and Lanolin that work by locking in moisture and blend in the crack with the rest of the product.

To repair deep leather cracks, you need a leather filler and a few other materials like sandpaper and a palette knife.

Sandpaper is used to smooth the cracks but make sure you don’t scratch the leather during this process. Then use a palette knife to spread the leather filler over the cracks.

Gently scrape off any extra paste and allow the leather to dry for a period of six to twelve hours. Another filler layer may be required if you think the crack has not been filled up completely.

Leather dyes can also be used similarly to repair superficial cracks and damages. Again, you can apply several coats of dye that closely matches the color of your leather item.

Although it’s possible to repair cracked or damaged leather, it’s best to prevent your leather goods from cracking.

Leather items should be kept away from direct sunlight and stored in a place that is not utterly dry or completely lacking in moisture.

Keep cleaning your leather products using conditioners and leather creams to keep the moisture intact.

Is Recycled Leather Eco-Friendly?

Leather in its true natural form is biodegradable and not harmful to the environment. However, the waste produced during the manufacturing of leather goods is not eco-friendly.

This is because the leather is processed through tanning, which transforms its natural chemistry and makes it difficult to decompose.

Recycled leather is considered sustainable because it reduces the waste produced by tanning natural leather and offers an affordable alternative to genuine leather goods.

The finished product is light in weight and quite durable, and therefore it lasts for a long time.

Moreover, recycled leather is environmentally safe because it is made without polluting the environment, and the result is a clean product without any toxic waste.

What Can You Use Scrap Leather For?

Since genuine virgin leather has to be processed using chemicals and water to make it a workable material, a huge amount of waste is produced.

If this waste is not disposed of properly, it can cause remarkable damage to the environment.

Leather scraps and offcuts produced during manufacturing can be reused to make smaller items like belts and accessories.

In addition, it is possible to obtain leather scraps from old furniture, shoes, handbags, and garments.

Many brands across the globe are using recycled leather for manufacturing their goods.

Similarly, scrap leather from old furniture and garments can be used at home to create new leather products and DIY crafts.

So not only will you contribute to making this earth a better place to live, but also give a new look to your home.

So, let’s have a look at some of the most popular ideas for recyclable leather products.

Planter and Herb Labels

If you are fond of keeping fresh plants at home, it’s time you give all the simple pots a new and customized look.

Use leather scraps cut into strips of 1″ by 4″ for small-sized pots or according to the size of your pots or herb containers.

You are going to need a leather hole punch to punch holes on either side of this strip. Use a marker or pen to write the names of plants or herbs. Use twine to thread the strip and tie it around the pot securely.

Light Switch Plates

If you want to make your home more inviting for the guests, try updating the look of your old switches with a leather plate.

It’s not very difficult to make, but it can make the switchboard stand out. You can also carve a design on the leather if you want to go a step further.

Leather Coasters

Coasters are always welcome whether you like to spend time alone or host guests frequently. Old leather scraps can be used to make long-lasting and elegant coasters.

Use English bridal scrap leather if available and stitch around the edges to give your coasters a smoother and more beautiful look.

Napkin Rings

Those who entertain guests at their homes often know the importance of personalized items for a dinner setting. For example, you can use small strips to make leather napkin rings without adding any extra materials and tie them neatly around the napkins.

Magnetic Money Clip

Small leather accessories always look cool, and they are quite functional and durable too.

Make a secure and dedicated cardholder for your ID, credit cards, and money bills that would be easy to access whenever you need it. You can also use a magnetic snap to hold the bills in place.

Corner Bookmark

Bookmarks can be creative and useful at the same time. This one is quite easy to make as it doesn’t require any expertise or special materials. This is particularly a useful project if you have small leather scraps that cannot be used any other way.

Clips for Earphones

Another one of those beautiful products that you will cherish for a long time, earbud clips, is again straightforward to create and lasts a long time.

Leather Jewelry

Jewelry made out of natural materials including leather is becoming very popular all over the world. The best thing is, you can make just about any type of design using leather. Make rings, bracelets, and straps for your wristwatch to use whenever you want.

Mason Jar Covers

Make cut-out designs in your leather to convert it into a beautiful looking jar cover. You can also add a leather handle to give it a more sophisticated look

Magazine Holder

If you have large leather scraps at home, the best way to use them is to make a DIY magazine holder. You can follow the instructions to create any shape or size you’re looking for and personalize it according to your needs.


Genuine leather products are not easy to throw away. So, the best thing to do is to recycle or reuse them.

Although there are recycling companies that shred the old leather and use clean methods to bind and reuse it, there are many ways to make your own recyclable leather products.

So, if you want to contribute to sustainable fashion and reuse your leather goods instead of throwing them away to sit in the landfills for more than 200 years, either donate your items to charity, give them to recycling companies, or better yet, try these DIY projects and you won’t be disappointed!

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