Leather is a popular material for all sorts of accessories, such as handbags, purses, shoes, jackets and so much more. However, leather involves the suffering and potential killing of animals all for the purpose of aesthetic and materialistic goods.
Did you know you can actually get a type of leather that involves absolutely no harm of any animal? There has been a recent buzz around vegan leather! No animal skin or other animal product is involved in making it and it looks just as good and real as leather!
This blog will tell you everything you need to know about vegan leather, including what it’s made from, how it’s made and some examples of brands that sell some beautiful vegan leather products.
What is Vegan Leather Made Of…
There are lots of different materials that vegan leather can be made of. Most commonly is plastic, with polyurethane (PU) most often used. This type of plastic is better for the environment than other types and is safer to manufacture with. Even better, most vegan leather is made of recycled plastics! Two brands making waves in the market using recycled bottles for their products are Gunas and Matt & Nat. Great for the environment as the plastic would have otherwise gone to landfill, but instead being utilised and turned into beautiful faux leather products. Stella McCartney is known for only using vegan leather in his clothes, and believes that the way to tackle the potential environmental issue that comes with using plastic, is by using recycled materials.
A major benefit of vegan leather being made of plastic is that it makes it waterproof! Gone are the days of having to monitor the weather before you decide if you can wear your leather boots or take your leather handbag out with you! Heat can affect vegan leather, but this can be quickly sorted by buying products, like sprays, which can protect the leather from the sun. It’s like sun cream for your handbag!
According to peta.org, vegan leather can also be made of pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels and fruit waste which are completely sustainable materials that put no harm on the environment.
Impact On The Environment
Vegan leather is a much better option than real leather because real leather has a worse impact on the environment. When looking at the impact on the environment per kg of material for transporting goods, it’s almost three times larger for cow leather than it is for vegan leather. This includes a global warming impact of more than two times that of vegan leather.
Brands and labs are experimenting with what other sustainable products they can use to make vegan leather, as whilst it is a lot better than real leather, there are always ways to make things more environmentally friendly.
When you look at the way real leather is made it is shocking! The carbon emissions from its manufacture are extremely harmful to the environment. Not only this, but the way the animals are treated is awful. They are often killed for their skin so it can be used to make leather products, and the ways they are killed can be extremely inhumane. They are often reared in cramped conditions and can suffer a great deal of pain. This is why vegan leather is so much better, as it doesn’t involve the harm or mistreatment of any animals.
Quality of Vegan Leather
With vegan leather you do not need to compromise on quality, but you will pay a lower price. Win Win!. To the naked eye it is near impossible to tell the difference between real and vegan leather. Faux leather will last a long time, so there’s no need to worry about that!
Vegan leather used to be more likely to show signs of wear due to the fact that it is thinner than real leather, but brands are starting to stand by their quality. But really, as long as you treat your product right, with care and respect, you shouldn’t encounter any issues. Brands have been able to use the thinner material to make their products light and versatile.
In general, vegan leather looks almost identical to real leather and the durability is easily matched.
A vegan leather handbag and vegan boots which look as good as real leather, last just as long and over half the price. Who would say no?
How Is Vegan Leather Made
We’ve already established what vegan leather is made of, but how is it made?
For vegan leather made of polyurethane, this is laminated as a coat onto materials, such as cotton or polyester. A textured roller is then used on the fabric in order to imitate the look you get with real leather.
A different process is used to make leather from food waste, such as apples. According to Heddles, to make the faux leather the pulp of an apple is rolled into strips and then heated. One litre of water is needed for every meter of material used, which makes apple leather much more conservative when it comes to water than real leather.
Where Can You Get Vegan Leather?
With vegan leather changing the fashion industry and paving a way to more sustainable and animal-friendly products, lots of brands have gorgeous vegan leather lines.
Matt & Nat is one of the most famous brands for selling vegan leather. They sell gorgeous bags, boots and accessories that can be perfect for so many different occasions.
Gunas is another brand that sells vegan leather. They specialise in handbags, so provide sophisticated and smart products that are made from 100% vegan leather.
Earth Hero is one of our favourite vegan friendly marketplaces. They only stock products which are best for the environment and have a selection of products including vegan leather belts.
So, what isn’t there to love about vegan leather? It is cheaper, so much better for the environment, doesn’t involve any harming of animals, and looks just as good as real leather! It’s a no brainer!