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Faux Leather vs Vegan Leather: Which Is Better?

From elegant bags to skin-tight pants, vegan leather is an eco-friendly and animal cruelty-free alternative that can do anything authentic leather can do, and often does it better! 

With the arrival of brand-new vegan leathers made from recycled pineapple plants, cork materials, plastic bottles, and even mushrooms—there is some confusion when comparing faux leather vs vegan leather. The two are similar, but they don’t refer to exactly the same thing.

What Is The Difference Between Vegan Leather and Faux Leather?

First, some history. Invented in the 1920s, the first faux leather was made at an American rubber plant. As the plastic leather, or “pleather,” was born in Naugatuck, Connecticut, it was fittingly dubbed “Naugahyde”. 

Naugahyde was a durable artificial fabric, coated in vinyl and textured to look like real leather—but at half the cost. Pretty soon Naugahyde, and the other pleather fabrics it inspired, became well known as an affordable alternative to real leather.

Vegan leather can be made of natural products like pineapples and cactus.
Source: Libertyleathergoods

Vegan leather, on the other hand, has only entered the fashion vernacular in the past twenty years. With a focus on interrogating HOW fashion products are sourced, vegan leather is more concerned with ethics than cutting costs. Designers like Stella McCartney and Rae Nicoletti are dedicating themselves to using sustainable materials that don’t sacrifice style or durability. 

How Long Does Vegan Leather Last?

When asking oneself, is vegan leather the same as faux leather?—one clear answer comes from the relative materials’ longevity. When comparing how long faux leather last and how long does vegan leather last, it’s clear that vegan leathers tend to be more durable than pleather, or plastic leather, the most well-known faux leather, and therefore last longer.

This is because vegan leather is interested in sourcing ethical and ecologically friendly materials that don’t end up in landfills. 

Vegan leather is basically antithetical to “fast-fashion” while pleather miniskirts or halter tops quickly come and go with the trends. For example, a biodegradable vegan leather like Piñatex made from recycled pineapple plants, lasts much longer than typical pleather materials, and it looks more realistic too. It’s a significant investment that will last much longer than cheaper faux leathers. 

How Is Vegan Leather Being Used in Fashion?

From piñatex vegan leather to Italian biopoly oil grain-based “leather”—vegan leather is being embraced by top fashion brands all around the world committed to doing fashion the ethical way. When considering what is the difference between vegan leather and faux leather, the answer really lies in the approach.

Piñatex turns pineapple by-products into a realistic vegan leather.
Source: hfscollective

Vegan leather is about rejecting cruelty, toxins, and environmentally violent practices to promise consumers sustainable and Peta-approved materials. Faux leather, on the other hand, is often more about imitating real leather in a cheap way.

So, swear off cow skin, reject unsustainable plastics, and go for adorable and cruelty free products like Hozen’s mini duffle bag!

Hozen’s adorable vegan leather mini duffle bag.

What’s The Future of Vegan Leather?

With questions like how long does faux leather last on consumer’s minds, it’s important to think about how faux leather and vegan leather will adapt to a fashion climate increasingly engaged in fighting global warming. While artificial faux leathers will most likely continue to be big players in fighting animal-cruelty, vegan leather is more associated with sustainability. 

Looking forward, scientists and top brands are partnering to create even more types of sustainable vegan leathers. Mushroom based leather, for example, is becoming an increasingly convincing and environmentally friendly alternative. If you’re interested in vegan leather bags, then take a look and explore our ethically handmade collections.

So, Is Vegan Leather The Same as Faux Leather?

Not quite! They are similar, but the symbolize totally different things. Vegan leather is more than just a cheaper alternative to real leather, it’s a movement. It takes a stand against the leather industry for its wasteful practices and total disregard for animal life.

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