A friend just sent me a link to a delightful website which says it sells high quality leather products made from human skin. Huzzah!
The site supposedly purchases the skin from people (human people) who give them permission to flay them when they are dead. This is apparently not illegal. This by itself really confuses me. I know you can donate your body to science but can you put in your will "and my skin will go to this horrifying leather company, and my skull will go to this psycho billionaire who wants to turn it into a toilet"? How much can you get for your skin? Do they lurk by hospitals waiting for people about to die to make a contract or do they sign with a healthy person and ghoulishly wait for them to die?
The merchandise is supposedly super nice and crafted by hand, and its certainly not cheap. They charge $14,000 for a wallet made of human skin, and $27,000 for a pair of leather shoes. They are currently not taking new orders as they are taking their time working through their existing wait-list.
I did, of course, send them an email requesting more information:
Dear to whom it may concern,
I happened across your website and found your product intriguing. I saw that you have a wait list and are currently not taking new orders but I had a few questions for when you are able to add more customers. I saw that you offered wallets, belts, and shoes (the links appear to not be working, by the way) but I was wondering if you did custom work as well. Specifically I was wondering if I could commission a leather fetish mask as well as a leather wrap for the handle of the samurai sword that has been in my family for generations. I would like both to not be dyed and be as close to their natural colors as possible.
I was also curious to what sort of payment you give to the people you collect skin from. I ask because when I pass I will have no need for my skin. Do you pay for skin by the square inch, and are certain skins more valuable (old vs young, light vs. dark for example)? If this price to procure skin is restrictive to your business, would you be open to sourcing skin from a more cost effective vendor that could guarantee authenticity?