FREE SHIPPING ON DOMESTIC ORDERS $50 Flat Rate International Shipping (expedited available)

What is Vegan Leather? Are There Benefits to the Environment?

As a follower of all things fashion, you’re beginning to see new ways of how products, from shoes to jackets to handbags are transitioning towards the eco-friendly route. Leather, one of the staple materials for creating such items, has evolved over recent years due to the fact that more fashion brands are not only  incorporating non-animal products but using materials that aim to reuse otherwise harmful waste, e.g. plastic. 

Today, we see vegan leather materials as being one of the most popular alternatives to traditional animal leather. From luxury brands to fast fashion retail, vegan leather has taken on interest as the eco-friendly and cruelty-free alternative. So you may ask yourself, What is vegan leather? Is vegan leather better for the environment

What is vegan leather

So...What is Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather, in general, is made from animal-free products and is the imitation of authentic leather. According to the animal-rights group, PETA, Vegan Leather is most likely to be created from a plastic known as polyurethane. Although polyurethane is considered animal-friendly, most materials like polyurethane, for example, PVC, are made with a high percentage of chloride which is a toxic chemical. 
However, there are other safe alternatives in making vegan leather that are sustainable for the environment such as recycled rubber, waxed cotton, cork, and even fruit waste like pineapple leaves and apple peels. When vegan leather is made of polyurethane and PVC, as opposed to a more sustainable composition, the production process does have an impact on the environment as harsh chemicals are being used and emitted into the environment, and exposed to human workers.  

Is Vegan Leather more Sustainable?

It depends on the components that are being used to create the vegan leather. The ideal is for the vegan leather to be made from materials that are known to be more sustainable, e.g. organic, non-toxic, animal friendly, ethical and eco-friendly. Traditional animal leather, as mentioned, has a threatening impact on the environment due to the harsh chemicals used and toxic exposure.

Quality of vegan leather

 

According to an article in  Harper’s Bazar UK, creating authentic leather consists of a procedure known as the tanning process; in which strong chemicals are used to transform the skin into leather, which also allows for preservation. 

There are major risks for the workers engaged in the tanning procedure. According to ECOPOL, tannery employees have experienced skin reactions, eye and mouth irritation, problems related to digestion, even long-term cancer, and reproductive issues. Also, according to ECOPOL, tanning heavily impacts the environment by way of deforestation, and water pollution; the chemicals involved flow into community waterways, and contribute to overuse of land. 

Is vegan leather better for the environment? With vegan leather sustainability on the rise, not only will it have a lesser effect on the environment, but will provide a safe and ethical workplace in which workers are not exposed to harsh chemicals and are able to bring in income to the farming industry. 

Quality of Vegan Leather

Vegan leather is often more lightweight, flexible, and durable than authentic leather.  Also, vegan leather can be made in a range of colors, not even authentic leather can achieve. These qualities have made vegan leather easier to work with, resulting in an end product such as a handbag or a jacket that lasts for years. These vegan leather alternatives have made a splash in the fashion industry.

  • Natural cork leather, which is considered sustainable, is highly durable as well as waterproof, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain.
  • Pineapple leather, also known as Piñatex, is known to be soft and durable, as well as flexible.
  • Organic Waxed Cotton, is great for creating patent leather. It is also pliable, waterproof, and easy to wash.
  • Recycled Rubber, is durable and easy to take care of.  It also takes a long time to wear out, assuring you that the quality will last you for a long time.
Is vegan leather more sustainable

Improvement in Eco-Friendly Alternatives

There are plenty of misconceptions about vegan leather. “It doesn’t look as good”. “It doesn’t have the same longevity as authentic leather”. But that’s simply not the case. According to the Vegan Review, more companies are using materials and creative techniques to prove that vegan leather can be as high-luxury as authentic leather. 

Due to the benefits of using vegan leather, there are more materials being manufactured that are plant-based and fruit-based, of which the production process is ethical, and the future of vegan leather is gearing towards being more eco-friendly.

RECENT POST

What is a Bucket Bag?

What is a Bucket Bag?

So, what is bucket bag exactly? Use this short guide to get a feel for this endlessly chic and charmingly playful handbag.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
What Is Waxed Canvas?

What Is Waxed Canvas?

Waxed canvas is making an appearance in the world of sustainable and vegan friendly fashion in full color. This highly durable, waterproof, and classic material can be used to make bags and jackets...
What Are Fanny Packs?

What Are Fanny Packs?

The convenience of this hands-free bag is undeniable and what is the purpose of a fanny pack has never been clearer.  Post by T.A. Walsh.
What Is A Cinch Bag?

What Is A Cinch Bag?

Simple, the cinch bag is any handbag or purse that can be pulled to a close with a drawstring that “cinches” the bag’s exterior together.  The innovative attention to the classic design is the reas...
What Is Piñatex? How Is It Made & Is It Ethical?

What Is Piñatex? How Is It Made & Is It Ethical?

Widely known as Piñatex, a vegan leather made from pineapples, was created to provide a convincing and environmentally friendly alternative to animal leather.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
The Latest Bags Trends to Try in 2021

The Latest Bags Trends to Try in 2021

The latest bag trends 2021 are comprised of a refreshing mixture of practicality, flair, and environmentalism.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
The Six Most Common Materials of Bags

The Six Most Common Materials of Bags

Different types of bag materials are foundational for an array of styles, so, being familiar with options is essential.  Here’s a helpful list of the most common bag materials.  Post written by T....
Seven Bag Storage Ideas Perfect for Small Spaces

Seven Bag Storage Ideas Perfect for Small Spaces

From baskets, to cubbies, to garment racks., and more..Post written by T.A. Walsh.
The Bags Everyone Should Have

The Bags Everyone Should Have

There are designer bags that everyone should own.  Here is a short guide to the essentials.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
The Top Six Bags Color Trends for 2021

The Top Six Bags Color Trends for 2021

While some women prefer to invest in a neutral carryall bag, others have a different color handbag for every outfit. Whichever type of handbag lover you are, a trendy spring color is just waiting f...
What Size Handbags Work with Your Personal Style?

What Size Handbags Work with Your Personal Style?

When asking yourself, what size handbags should I carry, remember that style is a reflection of personality.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
Picking a Handbag for Everyday Use

Picking a Handbag for Everyday Use

With countless bags out there, in every shape and style imaginable, you might be asking yourself: How do I choose a Handbag? Here is a useful short guide to help you find the perfect bag.  Post wri...
Are Fanny Packs in Style for 2021?

Are Fanny Packs in Style for 2021?

Are fanny packs out of style? Nope! Fanny packs are cool again and everyone just has to deal with it.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
Faux Leather vs Vegan Leather: Which Is Better?

Faux Leather vs Vegan Leather: Which Is Better?

The two are similar, but they don’t refer to exactly the same thing.  Learn more here.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
Nylon vs Leather - Which Is Better for Bags

Nylon vs Leather - Which Is Better for Bags

Even though nylon and leather are some of the most common materials for bags, the two couldn’t be more different from one another.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
9 Different Styles of Bags & Handbags for You to Wear

9 Different Styles of Bags & Handbags for You to Wear

With so many different style handbags to choose from, it’s critical to play the field before you take the plunge on a new bag!  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
How to Choose a Bag for Your Body Type for Daily Use

How to Choose a Bag for Your Body Type for Daily Use

Now that the fashion industry has finally woken up to the fact that all types of bodies are beautiful, it has never been easier to choose a bag perfect for whatever shape your gorgeous body takes. ...
Why You Should Have a Bucket Bag in Your Closet

Why You Should Have a Bucket Bag in Your Closet

The Bucket Bag is so much more than a trend. The chic and innovative look is a dreamy marriage of practicality and haute couture.  Post written by T.A. Walsh.
History of Tote Bags - A Brief Story about The Tote Bag

History of Tote Bags - A Brief Story about The Tote Bag

Tote bags play many roles and constantly provide new answers to the question: What are tote bags used for? Whether the beloved tote is serving as an eco-friendly shopping bag or as a fashion purse,...
Different Types of Eco-Friendly Vegan Leather

Different Types of Eco-Friendly Vegan Leather

There are dozens of leather alternatives, but only some are eco friendly. Post written by T.A. Walsh.
Eco Leather: What It Is and Why It Belongs in Your Closet

Eco Leather: What It Is and Why It Belongs in Your Closet

Eco-leather is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly answer to traditional animal leather.  Post written by Mish Barber Way.
The innovative designers using produce to make their bags | Pivot Magazine

The innovative designers using produce to make their bags | Pivot Magazine

Sustainable, eco-friendly accessories are now being made from fruit and vegetables.  Read our interview with Miriam Porter.
X
Shopping Cart