You might have heard about vegan leather before, possible even under different names, such as ‘synthetic leather’ or ‘artificial leather’. But what exactly is it? The fact that it’s called leather is quite frankly a marketing play because it is actually not leather at all, but rather an alternative that’s made to look similar. Let’s take a look at what vegan leather is and what it’s made of.
What is vegan leather?
In short, vegan leather is essentially a cruelty-free alternative to traditional leather, which is made using animal hides. On the contrary, vegan leather aims to avoid using animal-derived materials altogether.
What is vegan leather made of?
Polyurethane/Polyvinyl Chloride: A majority of vegan leather is made using polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride, which are both plastic-based materials (hence the popular nickname “pleather”). Although there are concerns that vegan leather’s use of plastics is harmful to the environment, it is still a much more ethical and sustainable option compared to traditional animal leather.
Sustainable/Recycled Materials: Although a majority of vegan leather is made using polyurethane, the use of other, more sustainable materials is becoming increasingly popular. Here are a few examples:
- Paper. While initial thought maybe that paper is not durable, you might be surprised. Some companies are repurposing paper to be made into vegan leather bags and accessories.
- Cork. Known to be water-resistant, eco-friendly, and long-lasting, cork is a very popular material in the vegan leather industry.
- Pineapple leaves. The leaves of the pineapple plant are rigid and sturdy, making them an ideal material to use in making vegan leather.
- Apple peel. As a newcomer on the scene, apple peel is becoming a durable and popular vegan leather option. Some automobile companies have even used it in their interior leather!
- Repreve. Ecogear's bags are environmentally conscious because the brand uses Repreve—recycled fiber from plastic bottles. Small things can make a big difference, so why not start by saving the world one bag at a time? for more info
As you can see, vegan leather is an excellent alternative to traditional leather. It is not only eco-friendly and cruelty-free, but it is also fashionable and durable in its own unique way. Next time you’re looking for new clothes, suitcases, or accessories, be sure to consider vegan leather as a viable option.