Vegan leather has grown in popularity as more people become aware of how their purchasing decisions affect the environment.
As conscientious consumers, you understand that the decisions you make now can result in a long-term positive impact on the earth. You've probably heard about the adverse effects of animal leather production on the environment and are looking for a sustainable, ethical alternative.
Vegan leather is increasingly being promoted as an ethical and socially conscious alternative to real leather by a growing number of manufacturers. But does the negative impact of synthetic materials on the environment outweigh any supposed advantages?
What Is Vegan Leather and How Does It Work?
As a fashion enthusiast, you're starting to notice new ways that products, such as shoes, coats, and purses are migrating to a more environmentally responsible path. Leather, a common material for such items, has developed in recent years as more fashion firms have begun to incorporate non-animal products and materials that try to reuse otherwise damaging trash, such as plastic.
Vegan leather products have become one of the most popular alternatives to regular animal leather in recent years. Vegan leather has gained popularity as an eco-friendly and cruelty-free alternative from luxury businesses to fast-fashion retailers. So, you might be wondering, "What is vegan leather?" Is vegan leather more environmentally friendly?
Vegan leather looks and feels like real leather, but it's made from synthetic or plant-based ingredients. PVC and polyurethane are used to make vegan leather in many cases, especially in fast fashion. These materials are made of plastic and petroleum, so they aren't exactly the most environmentally friendly option.
On the other hand, Vegan leather can be made from more natural materials like cork, paper, and even apples and bananas. Yes, the same things that go into your morning smoothie can also go into your handbag.
Why isn't leather a vegan option?
Because leather is derived from the skin of animals, it is classified as an animal product. The following is a simplified description of the leather-making process:
- Kill the creature. There isn't much else to say about this.
- Remove the skin from the animal carcass. It takes a certain amount of skill to do this without ripping the skin. If you're curious, look up "how to skin an animal." There are numerous tips on how to hang an animal upside down and peel its skin off the carcass using a knife and a lot of force.
- Remove the animal's body and dispose of it. This usually entails slaughtering the animals' carcasses for consumption. It's worth noting that at this stage, money is made.
- Soak, wash, and scrape the skin to get rid of the fur, fat, excess meat, and anything else you find attached to the skin of sentient beings. Again, at this point, you can sell the animal skin for money.
- Tanned skin: This entails putting the skin in a huge barrel with tanning ingredients added to make it more commercially feasible. Skin, like the rest of the body, decomposes with time. As a result, we treat the skin with chemicals to preserve it while making it more robust and thicker for consumer usage. Through this process, in which lethal chemicals are combined with the skin that hurt not only our health but also hs a disastrous influence on the environment.
- Following tanning, the skin is transported to other vendors (for a fee), who will transform it into the vast array of leather products available.
Is it possible to make vegan leather that is also environmentally friendly?
Whether vegan leather is truly "sustainable" now depends on how it was produced. Plastic-based leather replacements, for example, might take years to decompose, which is hazardous to the environment despite not directly harming animals during the manufacturing process.
Is plastic pollution, however, more harmful to the environment than traditional leather pollution? Not only are over a billion animals killed each year for their skins and hides, but the tanning process (which turns hides into leather) has its own set of problems.
Heavy metals are used in tanning and dyeing, which can leak into streams and kill aquatic life. It may potentially endanger the personnel at the production factory.
In the end, it boils down to what aspects of sustainability are most important to you. There is no such thing as a perfect environmentally friendly product. Real leather can damage animals and is processed with chemicals, whereas plastic-based leather cannot harm animals directly but may not biodegrade and produce harmful pollutants. It's kind of like a "lesser of two evils" situation.
Finally, it's critical that we, as customers, learn more about where our vegan leather products come from and how they're created.
Is it possible for vegan leather to match the quality of genuine leather?
Vegan leather has gone a long way in the last few decades, and well-made vegan leather products may often be fooled for the real thing, despite the essential components sounding nothing like what goes into actual leather products.
What Does The Future Look Like For Vegan Leather?
It should be obvious by now that the future of vegan leather is a fully sustainable, environmentally friendly, high-quality product that will last for years! The significant part is that plant-based vegan leather is already a good, long-term alternative that is improving all the time.
While no vegan leather is flawless, we hope you now have enough information to make the best decision possible when purchasing new items.
If you'd like to learn more about our own line of vegan leather wallets, bags, and soaps, please click here.
Is Vegan Leather Better For The Environment? Quality Of Vegan Leather
Is vegan leather better for the environment? With vegan leather becoming more sustainable, it will not only have a lower environmental impact, but it will also give a safe and ethical workplace where workers are not exposed to harsh chemicals and may earn money for the farming industry.
Vegan leather is typically lighter, more flexible, and more durable than genuine leather. Vegan leather may also be manufactured in a variety of colors that true leather cannot. These characteristics have made vegan leather easier to work with, resulting in a long-lasting end product such as a vegan handbag or jacket. The fashion industry has taken notice of these vegan leather substitutes.
- Natural cork leather is exceptionally durable, waterproof, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain, making it a sustainable option.
- Pineapple leather, also known as Pinatex, is a soft, resilient, and flexible leather.
- Patent leather can be made from Organic Waxed Cotton. It's also malleable, water-resistant, and simple to clean.
- Recycled rubber is long-lasting and easy to maintain. It also takes a long time to wear out, so you can rest assured that the quality will last.
- Sugandh G. Agrawal's GUNAS New York, founded in 2009, makes MulbTex out of mulberry leaves. The plant's leaves are pulped to form paper, compressed and bonded over the cotton canvas, then coated with tree sap to give it a leather-like feel and make it water-resistant. GUNAS not only owns the exclusive, patented rights to MulbTex, but we also pulp the mulberry leaves — a staple meal of silkworms — before they can eat them, preventing them from dying. Our Mulbtex-based Moby bag is the world's first plant-based men's bag.
Eco-Friendly Alternatives Improvement
Vegan leather is fraught with misunderstandings. "It doesn't appear to be as good." "It doesn't last as long as genuine leather does." That, however, is not the case. According to the Vegan Review, more companies prove that vegan leather can be as high-end as genuine leather by adopting innovative materials and techniques.
Because of the advantages of utilizing vegan leather, more plant-based and fruit-based materials are being developed, with an ethical manufacturing process. The future of vegan leather is looking to be more eco-friendly.