Hide Rug Sourcing
To evaluate the sustainability and/or animal cruelty associated with hide rugs by identifying background information and statistics about hide rug sourcing, including the percentage of hide rugs that are made as a byproduct of the meat industry and what factors impact the sourcing for hide rugs (e.g., country of origin).
Sourcing of Hide Rugs
- A preponderance of industry experts (e.g., CowHides, Mahi Leather, RugKnots) assert that hide rugs are "predominantly" sourced as a byproduct of the "dairy and meat industry," and "do not traditionally involve animal cruelty."
- Notably, the hide rug-making process has existed for centuries and is generally "considered respectful to the animal" in "many cultures," given that the animals involved are "not specifically cut open just for their skin."
- Particularly in the United States, animal welfare laws are known to protect the animals involved in hide rug-making.
- Additionally, the hide rugs produced in Brazil, Argentina and Columbia are considered to be of the "highest quality," in part because those countries have a reputation for the humane way in which they raise and process animals to make such products.
- However, some concern exists over the hide rug-making process in China and India, given that there is more uncertainty over whether a specific rug was a byproduct of the meat industry (or if an animal was killed outright for its skin).
- This is particularly relevant, given that China and India are two of the largest leather manufacturers in the world (alongside Brazil and the United States).
Summary of Initial Findings
- The research team leveraged the first hour of research to assess the availability of the requested information about hide rug sourcing, as well as to provide a summary of initial findings.
- Although a geographic focus for this project was not explicitly stated, the associated requests implied a global focus. If a more narrow focus should be used for subsequent research (e.g., United States), this would need to be specified in a follow-up comment.
- Notably, it appears that quantitative data about the hide rug industry is particularly limited, given that most industry trades provide primarily qualitative insights on the market, while available industry reports are available only for the larger carpet and rug-market.
- Despite this challenge, the research team was able to provide qualitative information on the portion of hide rugs that are made as a byproduct of the meat industry. Additionally, the research team located meaningful insight into how a rug's country of origin may impact its sourcing.
- Based on this availability of information, we recommend proceeding with one or more of the following proposed next steps.
Proposed next steps:
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