Since 90% of "leather" products are such awful garbage, it's not surprising to me that consumers have abandoned the sector en masse.
I go through about a belt a year now. Because I always seem to end up with this crap you describe. Even if I try to avoid it. Guess I need to do a better job looking... Or just lose some weight so I can use that same belt for another 15years.
The shoes were $100, because they retail for $400-$500, but when I purchased them they were 10 years old and in good condition. I have since been wearing them quite regularly, and they still look as new as the day I got them.
I used to spend $100 a year on typical men’s shoes, not realizing how wasteful it all was. Leather is an amazing material when it is cared for, and it can be a very eco-friendly clothing solution to our throwaway culture of petroleum products.
I am now sold on quality leather shoes, because they are in fact cheaper and better for the environment than any petroleum shoes when properly cared for (for the simple fact that they can last 10 to 20 years).
Sneakers for $179 and dress shoes are priced at $249.
Like you said amazing quality shoes last for several years when given proper maintenance.
Business attire is also top notch from this brand competing with similar Brioni suits for a 1/3 of the price.
The cork soles and the leather will slowly morph to your foot shape as you use them, so they get more comfortable as you use them. My most comfortable pair had its last manufacturing run in ~2005 (“lauderdale”).
Once again, go to Etsy and search for full grain leather belts. I spent about $70 on mine. This is one of the markets where you'll get a much better product working with a local craftsman than shopping with a brand name.
I highly recommend them. These belts will last a lifetime.
- - - -
> TIP CUT C125
> English Point
- - - -
> Belt length:
> * DO NOT USE YOUR PANTS SIZE *
- - - -
It's better if you:
1. Explain which options are recommended for what kind of customer, or which options go together better in a set.
2. Don't expect checkout customers to work in your leather belt shop.
What does C125 mean? Why is it prominent in the checkout?
If you're not meant to use your pants size, how about a sizing guide?
The tip cuts make sense to me. You can either go rounded, have a point, or go with a taper. The image changes based on which one you choose.
They have a sizing guide on the product page where they use your old belt as a base for measurement.
As for point number one, I feel like that's a matter of preference, specifically because fashion is subjective.
I mean, I agree with the sentiment of your comment, specifically they could definitely do more user friendly things, but I figure most of their customers are into bespoke products and are okay with doing research on their own or are informed.
I'm not that person though- I just clicked on a picture of a belt on their homepage, so "C125" is a random string to me.
Is "C125" the thing I want to order or the opposite of that thing? I forget.
I also wouldn't know they have a sizing guide on their homepage, because I'm on their checkout page already.
I know that sounds silly (and pretty much incompetent of me as a buyer), but there are a lot of eComm sites, a lot of places to buy belts, and busy lives for customers.
You either hold the customer's hand through checkout, or you bleed abandoned carts.
I found a comment online that goes:
> - easier grip to pull/cinch the belt
> - easier to get through the loop Rounded
> - 5" less excess going through the loop.
> - great if you are sharing belts (if the smaller person is wearing the belt in its tightest setting, they won't have the excess talked about in first bullet point)
Little notes like this would go a long way during the checkout process.
I personally thought that the tip cut might have been more of an aesthetic preference than one of practicality.
I've been in the market for new belts for a year now, so the glut of hides is good news. Time to stock up for another century!
I've had very good full grain leather belts in the past. Now that I know the market situation I'm going to search for a big (cheap) piece of full-grain cowhide and cut my own damn belts out of it. Belts aren't hi-tech. It isn't as if we're talking about making a 5-nm chip here; more like "cow chip" tech.
I'm in Texas now so there are probably cowhides all over the local flea markets and wholesale shops.
"How to Make a $90 Belt for Only $23":
discusses where to buy leather and tools (that will last the rest of your life) and how to make the belt. Also...
"How to make a $100 belt on the cheap": https://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/k6uro/ho...
where you'll find tips on finishing the leather too.
(Not sure how this varies across other non-US western countries)
As in, lower than domestic parcel rates inside the USA, typically in the range of $1 - $2.
I believe Trump mentioned considering re-negotiating that deal recently, which nobody has objected to.
But it probably should go away. It creates this weird imbalance where shipping things from China to the US can be cheaper than shipping something to your next door neighbor.
NPR's planet money had an informative and fun episode on the topic. https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/08/01/634737852/epis...
After getting fed up of of cloth like deteriorating "leather" belts, recently i looked closely and ended up with a timberland (stamped india) "genuine leather" (means not leather again) belt. In comparison, the timberland used stitching to attach the buckle while my old spanish belt used two hefty rivets to attach the buckle.
I think we do still make things excellently... it's just for the 1% (maybe when i was young in the u.s. i was the 1% in the world at the time).
Here is a quick overview of leather grades:
Then you see a quality brand you remember from 40 years ago who once sold proper thick hide belts. Comes for a similar premium price that has you thinking it's the real thing still. You can have something that looks the same - for a couple of years. Except it's bonded leather, with a cheaply plated buckle, made in China or Vietnam.
The leather goods shop, that sold only pukka items, in town is long gone. As is the shopkeeper who could advise which leather would suit your need best, and order in special niche items. There might be a real maker somewhere online, selling at artisan (ie absurd) prices. You may never know it as everyone else is trying to imply their crap is that too.
Something like a site with "leather teardowns" on products?
Alternatively, what would be a good non-invasive non-destructive method to detect its actual leathernness? Something like Atomic Dielectric Resonance scanning? It may sound absurd to construct an ADR scanner to buy a leather item on a sporadic basis, but the device could be rented (for a miniscule price, with a deposit in escrow to ensure return) say at a bio-shop... Or somehow build it into a phone, using its radio spectrum?
You might also have luck checking out cobblers. Some of them make belts and other leather goods on the side.
As a tangent, Vivobarefoot is a shoe company that makes very high quality leather shoes. I bought a pair of their brown low-tops and have worn them everyday for work for 4(+) years. Other than looking slightly worn they function as new. No affiliation, just impressed with the craftsmanship.
Good leather is good.
I've bought Vivobarefoot (mostly when they're on sale) for over 7 years now, and the build quality of their shoes are really hit-or-miss — while the leather doesn't wear, some of their soles tend to puncture or flake within months.
The pair I'm currently wearing daily, their Soul of Africa Gobi, has been going strong for over a year now.
Their Stealth and Evo series of running shoes (not leather) are rubbish. My Evo died after 131 km/81 miles of running — normal running shoes should last at least 2-3 times of that.
I wonder if the country of production plays a part in build quality.
My Evo also got trashed pretty quickly, but I had a pair of Neo that lasted around seven years before I finally wore through the sole. Have a couple from their Primus line for the past year or so that seem to be holding up well so far.
Definitely buy it for (life belts, wallets, etc).
Belts for life??
As an extreme example, a napkin sketch by Picasso is not valued relative to napkins.
If the creator makes a belt just the way I want it, that’s worth a couple hours pay to me.
Thanks for this; I had no idea that Genuine Leather wasn't a good thing, but I did have my suspicions as so many products seem to use the designation where the quality doesn't seem to be there.
Will be making sure to look for full-grain leather from now on (ironically, I thought that "Genuine" designation was better).
I think those articles, and his Reddit comments , are worth a read to get an insight into how leather workers see this.
It's almost a tragedy of the commons where there is a generic trademark that isn't protected, or maybe in the opposite case where everyone colludes to dilute the generic trademark to increase profit margins. Like using "blueberries" that aren't real blueberries but just made up of sugar and some artificial ingredients.
The cost and brand name of a product mean nothing. You can buy a $10,000+ "Genuine Leather" wallet, claimed to be "handmade" by a top-5 wallet manufacturer brand name... and chances are it's all lies. They sell too many wallets for them to be handmade, so the fact is they use sewing machines with the cheapest labour they can get away with. The company is physically incapable of tracing the chain of custody of their leather; they'll tell you to your face it's "genuine" (bonus words for "locally sourced/farmed"), but that's a game of Operator/Telephone 10 players deep to the point where nobody remembers the truth.
tldr; Most leather, including "genuine leather", is anything but. That includes the largest brand names; in fact even more so, because the demand for their products is too high to secure any kind of guarantee of quality regarding sourced materials. How many large-scale manufacturers of leather products are willing to legally sign on the dotted line that they can prove which cow and farm any given wallet came from? Exactly, and that's 21st century capitalism at its core.
My new buckle is a case the loose end is threaded through, which has guide slots in the sides facing your nose and toes (respectively) for a pin that is self-locking by pinching the belt between it and the inside of the side of the case facing away from you. This requires two hands to reduce load on the buckle, followed by pinching the pin where it pokes it's rounded ends through the slots to pull it out of the self-locking end of the slot.
I preferred the old one, but how to find a good belt like that? Also, it tends to look tattered/unprofessional with the friction-damaged fabric belt and the non-shiny (not obviously rusty) steel wire rectangles.
If anyone knows a source for such at sane pricing, I'd appreciate sharing of knowledge.
If they are "looking" for a natural method, look no further than Chouara tannery in Fez, Morocco. It's an open air tannery that has operated continuously since the 11th century, with the techniques handed down through the generations.
They use cow urine, pigeon feces, quicklime, salt and water in the tanning process. It smells about as bad as you would imagine. They give visitors a sprig of mint to hold in front of your nose. It helps, a little bit.
The end result is gorgeous leather that stands up very well. I have a pouf that is dyed with saffron, it is still soft a decade later. If you get a chance to buy some of this leather, I would highly recommend it. I'm sure it is available online, too.
Wait, what? Consumer trends have shifted so radically in 5 years that even with a white hot economy leather prices have dropped by 20x?
There are other examples in modern society. Chlorine and caustic soda are produced in strictly fixed ratios from NaCl salt and electricity. Extra demand for one will depress the price of the other. The effect is quite sharp in this example, since both products are expensive to store.
Similarly, the hydraulic fracking industry has somewhat depressed the market price of natural gas in the US. The miners are really hunting for high-value liquid hydrocarbons. The gaseous hydrocarbons are quite low-margin by comparison, but come along for the ride in the shale being exploited right now. The effect is more modest in this example since new home construction, new electricity production, and industrial process heat can all be biased towards natural gas. But its still there.
If electric and other high-efficiency propulsion technologies takes off enough to impact gasoline consumption, then a side effect in the US will be an increase in natural gas prices. The source of the increase is twofold: Decreased production of liquid hydrocarbons will decrease supply of gaseous hydrocarbons, and increased demand for electricity will raise demand for gaseous hydrocarbons.
"The amount of beef produced per cow has seen an 18% improvement over the past 20 years. The average cow size across all breeds is 1,390 lbs., with less than 100 lbs. separating the heaviest and lightest breeds."
There's probably a tradeoff in the quality of the hide as a result of this however.
And so they have been fracking more liquidy "wetter" natural gas where possible, depressing prices for ethane, butane and propane (but which are still more profitable than methane, BTU for BTU).
Cheaper ethane = cheaper plastics as we turn on more and more polyethylene plants (easier to store/ship).
In the winter, we can froth up gasoline with butane, which is largely why winter gas is cheaper.
Btw, even game economy models this part - in Dwarf Fortress a slaughtered animal produces skin, which will decompose if not tanned or converted to parchment.
That still leaves a ton of room to over supply and depress prices.
- After processing, leather doesn't rot. Thus it is a durable good, and stockpiles can build up
- Texas and other parts of the nation had massive droughts a few years back. This resulted in herd culling, which could have increased the supply of available hides at the time.
Prices may be low but they’d have to stay lower than the equivalent synthetics for a long time to get manufacturers to invest in redesigning and changing their supply chains.
What figure in the report are you using to determine a 5% decrease over that time period?
The main point I was going at is that most of us here have a really skewed view of the general economy after a couple decades of good times for tech workers which haven’t been generally true of the overall job market, especially when you factor in benefits and job security. This is similar for stock market gains when so many Americans have no or only a token stake invested.
> In 1979, wages at the 10th percentile ranged from $10.03 for black and Hispanic women to $14.42 for white men, whereas in 2018 wages in the 10th percentile ranged from $9.72 for Hispanic women to $13.70 for white men.
This adds up to -4.99% for white men in the 10th percentile. Above the 10th percentile everyone has done better.
Also I guess if a company can cut costs by using the improved poly leather and the consumer doesn’t notice or care then that’s the move.
I make a pass on buying most leather products because it's so hard to find decent quality without an overinflated price. I don't even dare buying it online unless its a niche where substandard materials are unlikely.
> Just five years ago, prices soared after a drought shrank the U.S. herd to a six-decade low.
so the $81 high mark is probably more to do with the weather than the consumer trend.
That price point doesnt seem right. Can anyone point me where you can actually buy a cowhide for $4? or even $40? Quick search gives me ~$50 for calf hides. Even Chinese fake leather cowhide rugs start at ~$50.
I'm finding leather jackets extremely difficult to shop for. Online advice is all over the place, and I want something to last a lifetime.
The retail clothes industry is getting insane with all the markup from actually sourcing the garment, the smart choice for expensive pieces if you really know what you want is having it made.
Horse people have been using this stuff for decades. It beats the "natural" products like neats-foot oil on both effectiveness and price.
1) when you say cheap, roughly how much? Range is fine.
2) any brands, websites that you can refer?
For boots, I can recommend Gasonlina, who do made to measure motorcycle boots, and I've a pair of their "shortcut" boots for years.
If there is a drop in leather prices, it's an excellent opportunity to get custom clothing and gear made. Wish prices were down when I got my Vanson.
I’ve found some pretty good leather jacket threads on Styleforum. There’s another forum whose name is escaping my mind, but they are dedicated to classic reproduction leather jackets.
I have a pair of their custom boots that are about 20 years old and (with resoling and some repair) they're still great.
Very high quality.
What doesn't have demand is the secondary tier of leather. Basically, "let's bond this shitty leather with plastic" doesn't have any takers anymore.
I've never had a leather jacket - they seem heavy and not really weatherproof.
Something like merino hoodie + gore tex windbraker is my go to for last 4 years now. Absolutely love it.
For protection against the elements, technical clothing with fancy fibres are a better option - way more waterproof, and can work with a heated vest if it gets very cold. Not as good in a long slide though.
It's definitely not a niche skill.
For men's dress shoes brands like Meermin and Grant Stone (China) are competing with Carmina (Spain) and Alden (USA).
I'm sure there's others for every type of leather good imaginable.
It’s disappointing to see a race to the bottom with leather quality when it seems like there’s no need for that.
You can't just google "canvas wallet" or whatever is your preferred material?
> “There are hides with no value. We’re throwing a natural product in the garbage.”
This makes me very sad. The least we could do with the burgeoning meat market is use all of the parts of the animal to the best of our ability. The fact that people still prefer fake synthetic leather when real leather is so cheap and readily available it's being thrown away is unfortunate.
If we're specifically talking about full-grain leather, I suspect that it's because consumers have this unrealistic ideal of "unmarked"/"mint" leather that's hard to achieve, at low prices, on large pieces of full-grain leather.
I suspect (but cannot prove) that in the case of premium, handmade leather goods, the majority of the cost (probably a really big majority) is the time of the people hand-making it, which is unaffected by the drop of the cost in the leather.
This makes me think of the wallmount synthetic-fiber-clothing-dispenser from "Idiocracy."
Well, I have leather hiking boots. Heavy but highly functional.
It always seemed crazy to me that leather goods, while functionally inferior in most cases, are considered the ”luxury” versions. Some sort of Vleben reasoning I suppose.
Well, at least it’s biodegradable unlike most of the alternatives. That’s a big deal too.
I love the stuff (thank you, cows), it's a heavy, reliable organic construction material. Lasts a lot longer than fabrics.
The trick is to get 'full grain' leather, that's the actual thickness of the cowhide and doesn't have backings or multiple layers glued together.
I never understood the fascination with leather car seats. Climbing into an oven to sit on a burner isn't my definition of premium or luxury by a long shot.
We have eaten meat for thousands of years and most people will not stop doing that, just bcause it's currently fashionable to say you do not eat meat or have reduced consumption.
I certainly wouldn’t argue against anyone who is buying meat from someone like Joel Salatin.
I wonder if there’s a word for this... “either stop eating beef or start paying a lot for it” diet?
I actively avoid meat in the company cafeteria and at most restaurants, but buy grass-fed beef or a free-range chicken most weekends to cook, or packaged free-range chicken legs if I’m feeling a bit lazy. The price per pound is ridiculous (“why did you spend 15 bucks on a little chicken that looks like a damn mockingbird?”) to my dad, who eats a good half pound of meat every day.
In the end, I probably spend about as much on meat as a less-picky meat eater in Germany does. 1kg free-range chicken legs: 8-10 EUR, 1kg cheapest chicken legs: 2-3 EUR. Two free-range chicken legs weigh about the same as one cheap one.
So beef consumption is up slightly since 2015, but is still far below its peak in 1976
I'm guessing it has more to do with doctor recommendations to limit red meat for health concerns and so people are moving to other meats like poultry.
Eventually eating only exceptional quality meat 2/3 days a week is fine for me.
More fatty meat sits at around 230 kcal per 100 grams.
You'll find that carb sources are around 200-350 kcal per 100 gram and sweet process foods are around the top of this level.
So when the OP says that the calorie density in meat is low, they are correct in the case of lean meat.
Even rabbit meat, the leanest possible game meat has 136 calories per 100 grams.
Average red meats will have calorie ranges right around 180-240 kcal per 100 grams. Of course that's low compared to sugary processed foods if you're going just by calories.
But it certainly isn't lowest when you consider the entire food pyramid. (most veggies and some fruits are lower)
A quick google and here are some example numbers.
White fish like Cod and Haddock are similar only they contain less water.
Maybe you don't have lean cuts in your country?
I'll check it out next time I buy groceries.
But even with beef, it takes 800g to reach 2000kcal. I am just wondering if this can actually be the main source of energy for a long period of time.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beef beef: 1,047 kJ (250 kcal) per 100g
The parent poster mentioned everyone around him.. when the majority has accepted a viewpoint many will signal they are on board but eat meat with their other friends or parents. People want to fit in. It may seem like everyone but it may not be true.
My dispute is with the idea that people only take an action to signal and not because they personally care.
I hope this comment has been useful to someone.
Massively increasing the supply by having it possible for players to trivialise the ransacking of dungeons without risk of losing their haul to PKers. Classic inflationary spiral.
The NPC shopkeepers also kept hours, would take breaks & walk around town, etc. That was another thing they wound up getting rid of quickly
Even with so much of that removed, UO always had the feeling of a living breathing world more than almost any other game.
I never played it however, I was too hung up on the notion that anything short of a full on sandbox which allowed all the behaviors people were fleeing would be good enough for me. Took me a while to realize that the only people showing any interest in the types of games I was looking for were the people I hated.
Expecting a reasonable supply/demand for something that gets spawned without limit, and gets harvested as a side-effect of something people want to do anyway, is like expecting a supply/demand based trade in candy wrappers or banana peels; The obvious economic value for most NPC drops is zero, and artificial price fixing is required to make it something else.
NB that in early UO, skullcaps weren’t a drop, they were mass produced as they were the most cost effective way to build stats and skills. Doubly so if shopkeepers would actually pay for them
To me the most blatant examples are mounts; in the last expansion they added a mount that costed 2M gold--when I thought it was crazy and that they couldn't possibly outmatch it, they came up with a 5M gold mount that was released in the next (current) expansion.