Eco friendly decoration using cowhide

Cow on field by Negative Space

World Environment Day is upon us. Every year on June 5 we celebrate WED by raising awareness and taking action to save our planet and make life on it sustainable as well as beautiful. So is there a way to protect the environment while decorating your home? Let’s find out about one environmentally friendly decoration material: cowhide.


Contrary to petroleum-based synthetics that are harmful to the environment and rather finite, cowhide is a renewable source. We are led to believe that “synthetic” is better than real leather (or fur) just because it is considered “ethical” and “cruelty-free”. However there is an urban legend here that we need to dispel. Cowhides are a byproduct of the food industry. Instead of using animals for cosmetic purposes, we take the waste of animals that are used for consumption and repurpose it. As long as we consume meat, there will always be a renewable supply of this waste. So unless you’re a vegan, it is ethical. As per the “cruelty-free” claim, all animals used for human consumption are treated with the most clean, respectful and stress-free way. Otherwise the animals are known to release toxins that can render the meat inedible.


While most synthetic rugs and carpets begin to crack and break down after a couple of years, a real leather carpet can be a life-long investment with proper care. Cowhide is –by its nature– a very strong material. But with its tanning process an extra layer of protection is added. A word of caution though: many tanneries (especially in developing countries like Bangladesh or Brazil) use shady methods of skin tanning. This gives them a competitive advantage by lowering cost through risk for the environment and people’s health. At FUR HOME we only buy from the best leather factories in the world. It isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny.


Time won’t stop for no man (or rug in this case). When your cowhide rug reaches its inevitable end it will dissolve into natural waste and return to the environment where it came from, making it one of the most eco-sensible décor options there is.

Green Clean

One last point before we put the case to rest is that of cleaning. Gone are the days where you had to wash your rugs with strong chemical detergents or soap and tons of water. When it comes to keeping a cowhide clean, a proper shake and a light vacuuming are enough in most cases. Vinegar and a dump cloth will take care of most stains. Only rarely you will ever use a soft cleaning agent (remember, cow skin is also sensitive as much as your skin)…

Use cases of cowhide

When it comes to interior decoration with cowhide, the typical uses involve rugs and carpets, furniture upholstery or even wall hanging. Another –not so known use– is flooring with leather tiles. Keep an eye to our style guides section for inspiration!

Kiwi green cowhide patchwork rug

For 2017, FUR HOME celebrates the World Environment Day with a 30% discount on our entire catalogue for 3 days (June 5-7). To learn how you can buy and save head to our gift cards and coupons section. To stay informed of our future news and monthly offers don’t forget to join our mailing list.

1 thought on “Eco friendly decoration using cowhide

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