Now more than ever, people are more conscious of what materials used in their clothing. There is no denying that the materials we’ve used for centuries are extremely practical. Now we’re moving into new cruelty-free versions of said materials, and this includes animal-friendly leather, also known as vegan leather.

This seemingly unattainable replication of an animal product falls under the names “synthetic leather” and “artificial leather”. It looks the same, feels the same, but skips the animal product part. Which is pretty damn cool.

So is there a way to create a sustainable, ethical and cruelty-free vegan leather that compares to the original? The global synthetic leather market size is expected to reach USD 52.96 billion by 2027, so the demand seems to be there for the foreseeable future.

Find out more about faux leather in our article below.

What is vegan leather?

Vegan leather is the cruelty-free, animal-free, manmade version of the material leather. It’s a more sustainable and ethical option when it comes to materials used to make handbags, wallets, shoes, and belts.

What is vegan leather made of?

In most cases, vegan and vegetarian leather is made of plastic-based materials polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride. It is a little frustrating that we still can’t move away from using materials that harm the planet, as it is plastic, or pleather (plastic leather).

Veja vegan leather shoes
Veja offer a range of vegan shoes

As always with technology evolving at a mental pace, so does the possibilities for faux leather to contain plant-based materials. There are now even ways to make vegan leather out of everything from pineapples to cactus leaves to flowers.

How is vegan leather made?

The process of making synthetic leather is just a tad more friendly than its animal counterpart. They essentially stick together a plastic coating to a fabric backing. In most cases, they use PVC. Which, isn’t the best for the environment.

Is the fashion industry moving towards vegan materials?

The shift is already happening which is so positive to see. With more and more products being made and promoted as using faux leather. Even the top fashion designers like Stella McCartney are starting to place the vegan name behind their collections.

Person lying on vegan leather
@ Stella McCartney

Fashion companies like Will’s Vegan Store and Veja, as well as high-end women’s shoe company Veerah have found ways to build their entire businesses around materials used from everything other than animals.

It’s exciting times for us all as many sustainable clothing brands are changing the industry. This material is just one of the many materials that have such a huge positive impact compared to its animal-rival. So next time you need a new pair of boots, a wallet, or a belt, give vegan, cruelty-free leather a chance.

Categories: Fashion