For Immediate Release:
February 2, 2024
Brittney Williams 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – PETA sent a letter to Samuel Levine, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection, urging the agency to amend one key point in its Green Guides regarding products’ eco-friendliness—its designation of animal-derived pre-consumer materials as “recycled content,” something they’re not.
“Pre-consumer materials” aren’t recycled at all. Rather, they’re brand-new, never-before-used materials left over during manufacturing—i.e., leather trimmings from making a briefcase or unused wool left over after cutting a sweater. Under the current Green Guides, a company could make a watchband from this leftover leather and claim that it’s “recycled content.” PETA points out that using this leather directly increases the demand for more cows to be killed and skinned, but a consumer seeking to buy “recycled content” would reasonably assume that the leather was previously used and that buying it would reduce the demand for new leather instead of increasing it.
“Vulnerable animals are harmed in myriad ways and killed for fashion, meaning that categorizing materials correctly is crucial so that consumers know exactly what—or who—they’re buying,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA wants the FTC to update its Green Guides and reminds everyone that a vegan label is the only surefire way to ensure that no living, feeling being was harmed to end up on a hanger.”
PETA’s full letter to Levine is available here.