ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta advise Americans that, in order to avoid skin cancer or other damaging effects of sunlight, they should take specific precautions.
“Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection,” the official CDC website states. “Wear clothing to protect exposed skin, [and w]ear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.”
The CDC additionally recommends avoiding indoor tanning at all costs.
While beneficial to the health of the general population, their advice is also crucial for those who want their body to to maintain it aesthetic beauty throughout life, and, in the case of those donating their bodies to fashion manufacturer Human Leather, after they have passed away.
The United Kingdom company and its employees brand themselves as “specialists in producing exquisite and exclusive products for an extremely discerning clientele.”
The site adds, “All products are carefully hand-crafted by experienced master craftsmen, with years of experience in handling the finest leather known – Human Leather.”
The name is not hyperbole. Human Leather claims to use the skin of willing donors who signed off on turning their bodies into belts, wallets and shoes before death.
“Human leather is produced from skin sourced from normal everyday people,” the website asserts, adding that several specific areas of the body are particularly prime for the making of their products. “There are a few areas of the body, [such as the] back and abdomen, that have uninterrupted skin coverage, and are therefore the best for processing into human leather.”
The business is allegedly acting within its legal rights to use the skin in such a fashion. It has also been done in the past. In the 17th century, people reportedly bound books with human skin, in a practice known as anthropodermic bibliopegy.
Due to the short supply of materials for use – and the company’s expressed desire to “cater to a small but highly discerning clientele … [who] are amongst [sic] those lucky few who have everything they could possibly desire” – the products are expensive.
The price of a wallet starts around $14,000. And a client could expect to pay at least $27,000 for the privilege of owning footwear made of human leather.
The company’s practices are cloaked in privacy. They do not post pictures of their completed commissioned products, the length of the waiting list for their products or the identities of their sources.
“We are considering taking a picture of an article that will never be for sale and we will publish that later this year,” the website states.
About one thing those at Human Leather are not shy, however, they readily endorse the use of the human skin from the willing deceased for the creation of fashionable accessories.
“Just like animal leather products, produced from lesser animals, our raw human skin is transformed into the finest grade human leather by using a traditional tanning process,” the Human Leather website explains. “However, human leather is the finest grain leather that is obtainable. ”
The site adds, “It is free from defects and has the smallest grain size which makes it the smoothest, softest leather on Earth.”