April 07, 2023 4 min read
Vegan leather has grown significantly in popularity as people become more aware of how their purchases affect the environment. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion out there among consumers when it comes to vegan products, especially for leather alternatives. We’re here to clear up myths about vegan leather alternatives.
Vegan leather is a fabric that is leather-like but doesn’t involve any harm to animals whatsoever. It’s also known as a leather alternative or faux leather. It can be made from a wide variety of materials, but the most common materials are Polyurethane (PU), Piñatex (pineapple leather), Cork, Kraft Paper, and recycled plastics.
People choose vegan leather for many reasons. Not only does it help our four-legged friends, but us as well. From the beginning, including the manufacturing process, the leather industry takes a toll. The land needed for raising animals leads to mass deforestation in South America and other places, which is greatly contributing to climate change and a decrease in biodiversity.
On top of that, the tanning process involves the use of toxic chemicals, including cancer-causing chromium, acids, atrium, and ammonia salts, which can leak into water sources. Tannery workers are exposed to these harmful chemicals daily in large quantities which leads to various illnesses and death.
Collective Fashion Justice states that producing one pair of leather boots made from cow skin causes at least 66 kilograms of CO2 to be emitted. To put that into perspective, that’s like charging 8,417 smartphones. One of the most harmful materials to the environment is animal-derived materials. In fact, in comparison to cow leather, most leather alternatives have a third of the impact.
Genuine leather has to be maintained well to prolong its lifespan. You need to avoid water entirely, and if it does get wet, clean the leather immediately to prevent staining or damage. Genuine leather should also be kept out of direct sunlight because it can dry out the natural oils and causes aging and discoloration.
With many leather alternatives, you don’t have to maintain as regularly. According to TreeTribe, vegan leather is made by compressing layers of the base material, then coating it in a durable, water-resistant outer layer, these products will last a long time. Especially if you treat them well.
You don’t have to worry about marks being left behind by scratching keys or stray bumps. Often, you can spill red wine or coffee on a leather alternative and clean it up easily with just soap and water. You can run around in the sunshine or rain without worrying about your bag or wallet being ruined.
While vegan leathers in the past were made largely of plastic, vegan leather today is more often than not made from sustainable, natural materials such as pineapple, cork, Kraft paper, and more.
You may have heard people claim that leather is a by-product of this food industry, but this is not the case. For example, animal skin can account for up to 50% of an animal’s economic value. But Piñatex is a leather-like material made from pineapple leaf fibers. To see what Piñatex products look like, check out our Piñatex Money Clip and Vegan Card Holder. It’s an actual by-product because pineapple leaves are a waste product in the pineapple industry.
Another fabric that is becoming popular in the leather alternative industry is Kraft Paper. It’s a durable, machine-made paper that consists primarily of sustainably used wood pulp. To see the material in action, check out our Medium Zip Around Kraft Paper Vegan Wallet. It’s commonly used today in packaging, but recently companies, including us, have been using it to create sustainable accessories.
Vegan products are becoming more widely available these days, thanks to people adopting a cruelty-free lifestyle and more vegan brands popping up. Here at Doshi, we want to encourage and support people in buying and wearing vegan and ethical products. Here's why you should choose us:
Vegan leather is just as timeless as the conventional version and even has price advantages! When you compare vegan designer products 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. As an added bonus, you’re helping the animals. Vegan products make great alternatives!
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