This is a common misconception concerning leather. The animal’s skin is the most economically important coproduct of the meatpacking industry.
When dairy cows’ production declines, for example, their skin is made into leather; the hides of their offspring, “veal” calves, are made into high-priced calfskin. Thus, the economic success of the slaughterhouse (and the factory farm) is directly linked to the sale of leather goods. Decreasing demand for both animal foods and leather products will result in fewer cows being factory-farmed and killed. There are so many alternatives to leather, why support unnecessary cruelty?