If you are like me, you used leather products before you became a vegan without a second thought. I am a crafter, and I love making dream catchers. Before I became a vegan, I would go to powwows and craft stores and buy bunches of deerskin to wrap the dream catchers. One day, someone asked me to make a vegan dream catcher for them (which, as I describe in the first post, started me on my journey to veganism). I made it out of ribbon, and it turned out so well that I never used the deerskin again. The problem was that I was left with a bunch of unused deerskin in my craft bin. I thought a lot about what I should do with it. Ultimately, I decided to sell my scraps on eBay and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Humane Society. I just listed them a few minutes ago and haven't got any bids yet, but hopefully some good will come out of the deers death.
Here are some suggestions on what to do with your old leather items:
1. If you can wear it/use it, use it until it wears out and then buy a cruelty free replacement. This is what I am doing with my shoes. Throwing out a usable item is wasteful, hurts the environment, and is an insult to the animal that died.
2. If you are uncomfortable using the items and they are in good condition,give the items to a non vegan friend or donate them to a homeless shelter/Goodwill/Free Clothes Closet. It helps others and gives you the opportunity to have some fun by going shopping for cruelty free replacements!
3. Sell your items and donate the money to a reputable charity. If someone wants to buy leather, it's much better that they buy it second hand instead of contributing to more animal deaths by buying a new item. Plus, you'll be helping to make the world a better place!
For more tips and advice on this issue, please visit http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?520-Using-old-leather-and-other-non-vegan-products/page5