Eel skin – the new and ethical face of leather
August 25, 2009 by greenmystyle
Dry eel skin was used by American Indians for its healing properties but has now become a popular ethical alternative to leather for shoes, handbags, belts and wallets. Lucie Goulet investigates the rise of eel skin in fashion.
Eel skin is a by-product of the food industry in Asia. However, thanks to the material’s resistance and easy absorption of dyes, eel skin is proving to be a highly stylish alternative to leather.
What makes it good for bags
Using eel skin as an alternative to leather is nothing new. Browse any vintage shop and you’re quite likely to find shoes and bags made from this material, dating back to the Second World War. Interestingly, eel skin is suppler and stronger than normal leather, and the fact that no two skins are the same means that every item made is truly unique.
Who uses eel skin
British label BoBelle, founded by Claire Watt-Smith, specialises in fair traded eel skin accessories, from handbags to dinky purses. BoBelle’s feminine clutch bag which retails at £79, is available in a smoky white hue, and is adorned with a delicate bow. This clutch comes in dusky pink, ravishing red and rioja red and is a sure-fire way to liven up evening wear.