March 01, 2023 6 min read
Belts are more important than you might think; they can do more than hold your pants up. Belts are great statement pieces for an outfit and can tie it together.
Different vegan materials are used to make belts, including paper, microfiber leather, pineapple leather, and many more. More and more retailers are offering vegan clothing and accessories.
We’re happy to share that many companies, including us, are creating new accessories and clothing from vegan materials. You can find vegan leathers made from high-quality materials like cork, polyurethane (PU), Pinatex (pineapple leather), recycled plastics, and more!
So, how are vegan belts made? Let’s look at the process and how you can tell if a belt is vegan.
Vegan belts are belts that don’t contain any animal products at all and that every part of the belt is cruelty-free, from the exterior material to the glue. It doesn’t matter if it's a man’s belt or a woman’s belt; for a belt to be vegan, it MUST be made from animal-free materials.
However, vegan belts are about more than not using animal products. Many consumers are looking for sustainable clothing and accessories, so companies are leaning towards using materials that are as sustainable as well.
Here are the qualities you can look for to confirm that a belt is vegan:
It’s important to note that just because a belt isn’t leather doesn't mean that it’s vegan. You may find a PU leather belt and think that it’s vegan but while the fabric itself may be animal-free, it’s common for companies to use beeswax (which is not considered to be vegan) to seal seams or glue derived from animal products.
Of course, not every company is the same. You should always do your own research to ensure that a brand you’re considering purchasing from isn’t using the vegan label but still funds sweatshop conditions.
You should choose a vegan belt over a genuine leather many reasons. Leather belts are not sustainable or ethical products. In the leather industry, millions of animals are killed every year. Not only is this cruel, but it’s also terrible for the environment. Leather goes through a tanning process that uses around 250 toxic chemicals, like chromium, arsenic, and cyanide.
Opting for sustainable, vegan belts can minimize your impact on the environment. This is because eco-friendly materials like canvas, banana leaves, cotton, cork, hemp leaves, and more are used.
Some vegan belts are from upcycled materials like bike tires, cement bags, recycled feed bags, and kite sails. Creating belts from these products keeps the materials out of the environment and landfills. This is huge because materials like this are known to hurt local wildlife.
Here are some more of the most important reasons why you should choose a vegan belt over an animal leather one:
A wide variety of materials are used to make vegan belts. Below, you’ll find some of the more popular materials used.
This may be unbelievable to some, but paper is actually a great alternative to leather. However, we would like to mention that it’s not the most durable option. The good news is, it’s more durable than you think.
Kraft paper is the most common type of paper used. However, it does differ from standard paper in a few different ways. First, kraft paper is stronger. This is because of its reduced lignin content and high sulfur ratio. In addition, Kraft paper doesn’t involve the extensive bleaching process that standard paper goes through during manufacturing, which would normally reduce the strength of the paper.
Belts made from this material are incredibly light and thin. Additionally, they’re 100% recyclable and use otherwise discarded materials to create new products.
An example of Kraft paper’s incredible durability can be seen in our Debut Paper Backpack.
Pinatex, also known as pineapple leather, is a semi-synthetic or artificial leather made from pineapple waste. This material is made from cellulose fibers that are extracted from pineapple leaves. It’s a great option because it offers an ethical alternative to genuine leather.
Pinatex doesn’t require pineapple fruit. Instead, the waste parts of the pineapple plants, like the leaves, are used, which can promote the circular economy and improve farmers' income. Additionally, pineapple is one of the most abundant fruits in the world. One acre of pineapple plants can produce 20,000 fruits every 15 months.
Taking fibers from pineapple leaves creates a leather-like, versatile material that’s becoming increasingly popular in the fashion industry. An example of Pinatex’s amazing durability can be seen in our Classic Bifold Pinatex Wallet.
PU or Polyurethane is a very popular type of vegan leather. Polyurethane is synthetic, but it can look very similar to genuine leather. This is why it’s such a popular leather alternative.
PU is a valid choice because it‘s more sustainable. It uses fewer resources to make it in comparison to genuine leather. Real leather has to be tanned during the manufacturing process, which uses a lot of chemicals. Additionally, during the tanning process, a lot of chemicals are used, which is damaging to the environment.
Here at Doshi, we use Microfiber Polyurethane as our vegan leather. Microfiber is the crucial term because Microfiber-based vegan leather is the top synthetic leather commercially available in the market today.
Microfiber vegan leather is comprised of two parts.
The end result often outperforms leather in various tests and is exceptionally durable. Not only does microfiber leather use fewer resources than genuine leather, but it also costs less than real leather because it’s easier to maintain and manufacture. In addition, you won’t have to worry about the material drying out, and it’s easy to clean because it doesn’t absorb water. We have a wide variety of microfiber belts. Check them out, women’s belts and men’s belts.
Cork is another popular leather alternative choice because it mimics the form and function of leather very well.
Cork leather is made from the bark of Cork Oak trees. These trees grow in Europe, in the Mediterranean region. These trees have to be at least 25 years old before you can harvest the bark. When done correctly, harvesting the bark will not hurt the tree. In fact, proper removal of the bark is actually beneficial for the tree because it extends its life and promotes regeneration. The cork oak tree can produce cork anywhere from two to five hundred years.
Additionally, the production process is a lot simpler than that of leather. Cork will be dried for around six months to improve their quality and flatten them. This makes cork planks that are then treated with heated water to remove dirt and fungicide which also makes the material flexible. The planks are then pressed into blocks that are sliced later into thin sheets. These sheets are then used to make cork products.
Leather requires a lot of chemical processing, while cork production requires almost no chemicals. Cork is a natural product that can be easily recycled.
Here on the Doshi Blog, we want to encourage and support people in buying and wearing vegan and ethical products.
Vegan belts are just as timeless as the conventional version and even have price advantages! When you compare vegan designer belts to ones made of genuine leather, you’re likely to find that the vegan option is cheaper and doesn’t have a dip in quality. An added bonus, you’re helping the animals. For these reasons, vegan products make great alternatives!
Are you interested in getting vegan accessories to finish the look? We offer a variety of handmade designer vegan options. In addition, you can check out our women’s vegan belts and our men’s vegan belts.
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