Vegan eco-fashionistas: Skip this post. But the occasional leather-wearing crowd will be glad to know that Spanish eco-shoe company El Naturalista's boots are made with more sustainable leather that gets its color and texture from natural oils and better-for-the-environment dyes made with less or no chrome -- or even veggies!
El Naturalista's shoes also make use of recycled materials -- like recycled rubber in the soles -- and artisinal shoemaking practices that support traditional craft skills and use fewer resources to boot.
El Naturalista boots are available at Planet Shoes, Amazon, and many other stores -- as well as in El Naturalista's online shop for $240 - $350 a pair. Of course, new boots made with new leather will always have a rather significant bootprint even if the leather's tanned in the most eco-friendly way -- which is why I generally refrain from buying luxury leather products like boots and jackets. That said, I'll often pick up what I consider to be a more judicious use of leather for basics like loafers -- which seem to me to last a lot longer if well taken care of than similar loafers made of synthetic materials (themselves usually not particularly green, especially if we're talking about vinyl / pleather).
Other eco-fashionistas will only wear leather if it's begotten pre-loved. Where do you draw the line when it comes to leather fashions?