Toad LeatherDecember 5, 2012
If we decide to shrink to 50 cm, cane toad leather could replace the less flexible, thicker leathers we use now. It is both beautiful and very soft, perfect for Shrinking Man’s shoes, bags or any other leather products. Other suitable leathers are snake-, eel-, salmon-, lizard- and chicken leather. Leather production has a significant environmental impact because of the impact of livestock and the use of chemicals in the tanning process. One ton of hide or skin generally leads to the production of 20 to 80 m3 of wastewater including high fat, chromium and sulfide. Smaller skins would mean less pollutants.
Cane toad leather is an example of how a different perspective on size and function could help us face environmental challenges. Cane toads actually represent a pest in large parts of Asia and Australia where they are a threat to indiginous species who accidentally feed on the poisonous toads. If we change our specific leather needs and focus on smaller animals such as chicken and toad, these niche markets could be developed and stand at the beginning of growth towards smaller environmental impact, as well as more suitable products for the man of the future.