In fashion, leather means status. It’s sturdy, it’s expensive, and it’s widely regarded as something only certain people can afford. It’s a luxury feature that implies class, and even the fact that it’s “real” leather gives it an aura of affluence and makes it appear very unique. However, since Millennials love everything eco-friendly, we’re starting to see options that are not only more sustainable than the leather industry, but are of equal quality. Vegan leather, a topic that’s been much discussed in the past few years, is overtaking the fashion world slowly and we’re loving the direction it’s headed in. If you want to know more about vegan leather and why you should consider buying it, read on.
It prevents animal cruelty
People believe that leather is simply a by-product of the meat industry, but in most cases, the reverse is actually true. Millions of cows have been killed annually for their hide, and cows are not the only animals that are used in this manner. If your leather is from China, there’s a chance that it was made of dog or cat skin because so far there’s reportedly simply no way to trace the origins. You could be wearing a bag made of puppies without even knowing it, and there’s no way to check because companies are intentionally mislabelling the products.
It’s kinder to the environment
Animal agriculture, since it’s not being handled in an environmentally friendly manner, is causing 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Just for comparison, this is more than transport emissions combined, and it contributes very significantly to the rise of the global warming. Not only that, uncontrolled animal agriculture leads to problems such as deforestation (through clearing space to make room for more pastures) and this, yet again, is related to global warming, since the trees that used to absorb greenhouse gases are now gone.
It also leads to water drain and water pollution, and this is associated with the rise in numerous illnesses and infections that have started plaguing us. Leather tanning is also an issue, given that a mixture of very dangerous chemicals needs to be used to prevent leather from decomposing, which leads to more water pollution and soil degradation.Angela Roi’s vegan leather bags are a dream
With brands like Stella McCartney and Angela Roi turning to vegan leather and managing to up their sales and make incredibly beautiful handbags and shoes, it’s obvious that there are other solutions out there.
It encourages creative solutions
A woman called Carmen Hijosa is the inventor of a material called Pinatex, which is leather that’s made from leftover leaves during pineapple harvests. It’s sturdy, it’s smooth, it’s absolutely beautiful, and it’s so brilliant and creative that we can’t help but applaud the genius behind it. Her brand Ananas Anam is pushing boundaries in fashion and encouraging other people to invent their own solutions and replace environmentally harmful practices with new, sustainable choices.
It gives recognition to ethical companies
Companies like Matt & Nat, Nemanti, Beyond Skin, and Charlotte Russe are doing so well in this niche and making such beautiful items with vegan leather, that the proof remains in the pudding. When you make design-led sustainable alternatives, consumers want them. And it’s not just about vegan leather, either. There are a ton of other companies that are famously good in a different way.Nemanti’s menswear-inspired style oxford with brogue-style
For example, the Australian company Oroton has ethical supply chains in factories which both respect labour and environmental laws and provide good working conditions. There are so many choices these days, so many great clothes, shoes, and accessories that we can take our pick and end up with something that’s both beautiful and crafted in a sustainable manner.
Vegan leather isn’t just a poor substitute for “the real thing.” The tides are shifting and the entire faux leather market is perceived to be worth $85 billion dollars by 2025. It’s high-quality, it’s trendy, and it’s the perfect choice for those who want to look and feel good.