You may already have your thoughts on the vegan movement, but we know there are some clear benefits of veganism to the environment.
But, what does this mean with the use of animal leather in clothing and accessories. Well, over the last few years there has been a noticeable rise of veganism and animal welfare activism. As with most big movements, the demand by consumers for alternative materials has also grown. Vegan leather has emerged as a popular alternative to animal leather from synthetic, to more natural and experimental fibres like mushrooms and pineapples. Our choices are growing.
SO, WHAT IS VEGAN LEATHER?
Designed to mimic the look, feel, and texture of animal leather, vegan leather is also known as synthetic or faux leather. It is a material that is made without the use of any animal products. Although there are many new natural types being developed, it is typically made from polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride, or other synthetic materials.
Unlike animal leather, vegan leather is produced without the use of toxic chemicals, harmful tanning processes, or the killing of animals. Making this a more environmentally friendly option.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Animal leather production is a major contributor to environmental pollution. It requires the use of chemicals and tanning processes that release harmful pollutants into the environment.
This not only affects the air and water quality in the surrounding areas but also has a direct impact on the health of local communities (people making these products) and wildlife.
In addition, animal leather production requires large amounts of water, energy, and land. Further contributing to environmental degradation and the depletion of natural resources.
SO, HOW’S VEGAN LEATHER MADE?
Made using sustainable materials, the production methods behind vegan leather minimizes its impact on the environment.
It is often made using recycled materials, such as recycled polyester, and is produced in a way that requires less water, energy, and land.
HOW EASY IS IT TO SHOP VEGAN LEATHER ALTERNATIVES?
As we grow in our awareness of what the fashion industry is doing to the environment, brands are also picking up on our demands for change. A great brand leading the way in sustainable vegan leather production is Stella McCartney
The brand uses a sustainable and innovative range called “Alter” in its vegan leather products, which is made from recycled materials and requires minimal energy and water to produce. For environmentalists there is an added benefit that Stella McCartney also supports various environmental initiatives, such as the Conservation International’s Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services project, to help preserve and protect the planet.
But they are not the only brand, there are lots of indie brands too, but even high street designer brands are jumping on this change. For example, if you’re looking for Pinatex leather shoes, then have you heard Hugo Boss have a vast collection in their Sneakers by Boss range. Or maybe its a shoes of the funghi kind? YES we’re talking about mushroom leather. Look no further than addidas and their Stan Smith Mylo.
As movements grow and as brands grow with them, demand is going to push brands to find more sustainable alternatives.