Highsnobiety

Supreme is many things: trendsetter, luxury disrupter, breakfast cereal. What it's not: liable for giving its customers cancer by way of exposure to dangerous chemicals. Seriously! Check out the Braided Leather Overcoat from the brand's current season, which features an all-caps word of warning: "WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm." Have no fear — the only thing to fear is far-reaching legislation.

The warning links to California's Proposition 65, which afflicts all manner of prospectively harmful goods even when the concerns may be overstated — the bureaucrats are presumably operating under the better safe than sorry policy. In fairness, there's good intention behind Prop 65.  It was initially drafted in the late '80s as The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, distinguishing consumables that contained any one of several hundred possibly unsafe chemicals linked to cancer or birth defects. Nowadays, though, it's better known for marking Starbucks coffee as potentially life-threatening.

Sure, the Supreme jacket in question is a pretty funky piece, crafted of black and "Sand"-colored lambskin that's woven on both sides of the buttoned placket and lined with viscose. It may be a style hazard — unless you're going to a '70s-themed costume party — but does it really necessitate a health warning? Technically, yes.

Leather as we know it is created through the tanning process, as untanned leather is just an animal hide and not suitable for fashion purposes. To get it into a malleable state, manufacturers will tan the leather through vegetable or chrome processes, the latter being cost-effective, quicker, and easier to automate en masse.

Chrome-tanned leather usually utilizes chrome alum or trivalent chromium (chromium III) salts, which are human-safe. However, certain temperatures, climates, or lights can transform them into hexavalent chromium (chromium VI), which may cause cancer in humans. This is an uncommon circumstance given the skill and oversight that keep leather producers in the business, but that slight concern elicits a Prop 65 warning label.

To sum up, the skate company must put that warning on their site since it partially operates in California and is selling a chrome-tanned leather jacket. And of course, the Supreme jacket isn't toxic nor was it intentionally made with chromium VI, so should you really, really want a long leather jacket for $598, consider your conscience clear.

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