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Thread: Ethical?

  1. #1

    Ethical?

    I'm sure this post will stir up a mixture of opinion but I'm going to ask the question anyway.

    I recently saw a post on the Bremont Fans Facebook page about a shout out for a certain well thought of watch strap brand (who I won't name as that's not the point of this post). I decided to have a browse of the brands website and saw several watch straps that I liked the look of, certainly not subtle straps, some stylish, some quite extrovert. What caught my attention was there are quite a few straps made from leather obtained from (to us) exotic animals. Of course, this isn't news, the luxury goods industry has been using exotic animal skins for years and whether you're for it or against, it happens. This brands website says that the leather is all sourced from 'ethical' tanneries. Now, I am well aware that materials such as crocodile and alligator leather are in most cases sourced from farms and those animals are treated no differently to how farm animals are over here. What struck me were three particular watch strap types, python, manta ray and shark. I thought how can the skins from these three animals be sourced ethically and after some internet research it's quite surprising how the arguments for and against can be educated, emotive and reasoned. I'd. go so far to say that there might not be a right answer!

    the question is, would you be happy and feel comfortable wearing a watch strap with a skin from an exotic animal?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by theancientmariner View Post
    I'm sure this post will stir up a mixture of opinion but I'm going to ask the question anyway.

    I recently saw a post on the Bremont Fans Facebook page about a shout out for a certain well thought of watch strap brand (who I won't name as that's not the point of this post). I decided to have a browse of the brands website and saw several watch straps that I liked the look of, certainly not subtle straps, some stylish, some quite extrovert. What caught my attention was there are quite a few straps made from leather obtained from (to us) exotic animals. Of course, this isn't news, the luxury goods industry has been using exotic animal skins for years and whether you're for it or against, it happens. This brands website says that the leather is all sourced from 'ethical' tanneries. Now, I am well aware that materials such as crocodile and alligator leather are in most cases sourced from farms and those animals are treated no differently to how farm animals are over here. What struck me were three particular watch strap types, python, manta ray and shark. I thought how can the skins from these three animals be sourced ethically and after some internet research it's quite surprising how the arguments for and against can be educated, emotive and reasoned. I'd. go so far to say that there might not be a right answer!

    the question is, would you be happy and feel comfortable wearing a watch strap with a skin from an exotic animal?
    I've only the one watch on a leather strap, the Lancaster.
    When it's worn out I'll probably get get a synthetic replacement but it won't be rubber.
    My wife's Solo is made from crocodile and as 30 year veggies I wasn't sure she'd be ok wearing it.
    We wear leather so I don't know where we could draw the line.
    Last edited by Lancaster; 01-16-2022 at 11:59 AM.

  3. #3
    If the animals are being used for food, I feel the ENTIRE animal should be used. For example, most people have no problem wearing leather if they eat beef, deerskin is they hunt, etc. In Louisiana, USA, alligator is on the menu (its pretty good, too). They're everywhere down there and not just killed for their skins.

    It's hard to answer your question without knowing exactly how these were sourced and what ethical means to the particular company. It's possible the animals were dead/dying of natural causes, being used for food, or farm raised, in which case I think I would be okay with it. It's also possible they said that just to get around legalities and protests...and probably most of us would have a problem with that.

    Bottom line, if the animal is killed solely for its skin and the rest is wasted, or if it's endangered, no chance I'd support that. If the whole thing is being used, as indigenous tribes have done for generations, I'm okay with it. Circle of life.

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  4. #4
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    Tough one to answer really.
    I agree with the above statements that if they are killed for food then yes use the hide, but not to kill just for the hide even if that's what they are reared for, it morally wrong I think.

  5. #5
    I agree with most, if not all, of the above. Cow, horse, deer, alligator, crocodile are all fine with me because most of us eat them, simply part of the circle of life and better to use as much of the animal carcass as possible than just use part. My problem is with the three I mentioned in my first post. I really can't see how python, shark and manta ray can be ethically bred. In my particular case, shark is one that I get very angry about due to a certain part of the human race that seems to think it's fine to cut their fins off and leave the rest. After some internet research I discovered that the likes of LVMH and Kering are claiming to be ethical with python skins by buying or building their own 'ethical' farms. What that means exactly I don't really know and why they're building them in Thailand or Indonesia makes me curious when snakes can be reared anywhere given the right equipment. If it's because the Thai or Indonesians eat them that's fine but I suspect that's not the case.

    Of course, it does also bring about the question, given our skills at creating artificial products, why is there a need to produce goods made from exotic animals?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by theancientmariner View Post

    the question is, would you be happy and feel comfortable wearing a watch strap with a skin from an exotic animal?
    Absolutely, I feel super comfortable, what I dislike is when you get embossed leather that looks like croc or alligator. For me it has to be the real MCCoy !

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Farhad19620 View Post
    Absolutely, I feel super comfortable, what I dislike is when you get embossed leather that looks like croc or alligator. For me it has to be the real MCCoy !
    Interesting.

    so taken to the extreme would you feel comfortable wearing a strap made from human skin? Sounds ridiculous I know but where does the line get drawn?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Lancaster View Post
    IMy wife's Solo is made from crocodile and as 30 year veggies I wasn't sure she'd be ok wearing it.
    of course I have to ask now you've mentioned it, how did she reconcile wearing the crocodile leather strap?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by theancientmariner View Post
    of course I have to ask now you've mentioned it, how did she reconcile wearing the crocodile leather strap?
    Because it wasn't just killed to go on her watch I suppose.
    The strap looks perfect for the watch but we'll have to look for an alternative when it wears out.

  10. #10
    No issue with alligator leather, if it from the correct sources. Louissiana alligator leather production has actually increased the wild population and the alligator is no longer 'at risk' in the US, as a percentage of all alligators raised as part of the farming have to be returned to the wild to boost populations.

    I think it is far less likely ray and shark are 'farmed' in this method but will be wild caught, possibly illegally and will be having an impact on numbers - as such I wouldn't purchase or wear. As for snake wouldn't want to wear it, but likewise I don't think it is managed and licensed in the same way as Louisiana alligator, is highly likely the production is cruel in countries which don't have the UK's same laws and culture. There's a reason the big brands will sell alligator leather, but not other exotic leathers.

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