The Dark Side of the Leather Industry | WYPR

The Dark Side of the Leather Industry

Mar 16, 2017

A barefoot worker stands inside an 8-foot tall-tumbling drum filled with chromium (III) sulfate and other chemicals. Workers often have to crawl inside the drums to remove hides.
Credit Larry C. Price/Undark Magazine

For a long time we’ve heard about the problems our love of cheap clothing causes around the world: problems like lax environmental and safety regulations, and child labor. Today we’re going to zero in on an industry you may not have heard as much about: leather. A riveting four-part visual tour of textile and tannery industries around the globe recently appeared in the online magazine Undark. We plan to focus on the tannery portion. Freelance journalists Debbie and Larry Price produced the series, with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Both are former Baltimore Sun staffers and both join us from a studio near their home in Dayton, Ohio.