All About Vegan Leather

June 15, 2019

All About Vegan Leather-Leafy Souls Vegan Blog Post

Vegan Leather is Fake Leather

Vegan leather is not all that it is cracked up to be. It is basically fake leather or what most fashionistas call Pleather.  Recently, environmentalists have investigated the damage that pleather has on our planet, and although real leather is the biggest contributor to that damage, a pleather is not that far behind.
Both leather and vegan leather production produce chemicals that are dangerous to the environment as well as the employees or factory workers that are there. Tanning is a process during leather production and usually incorporates substances like hydrogen sulfide and ammonia which increases the employee’s risk for skin, respiratory, ocular or nerve damage, or in extreme cases - death.


Being Eco-Friendly Is Hard

You can find legitimate manufacturers of vegan leather products that use more sustainable materials such as Vegetan, which can be 70-80 percent biodegradable, or Lorica (or EcoLorica), another type of hi-tech material created from combining microfibres soaked in resins. And then there's cork, barkcloth, glazed cotton, and waxed cotton.

There is also hemp, linen, and other vegetable or fruit-based products, but they are still in their infancy stage and most top designers do not use them. You are generally left with basic items to choose from or a hippy style. In addition, to being limited in product range and choice of materials, you must find stores that produce ethically and this is difficult. It takes hours of research and reading to find the brand that makes clothes the way you like and in a material that is eco-friendly.


Brands At The Forefront

Some manufacturers, including Valentino and the entire Gucci Group, are very much aware of the issues surrounding leather production, and have now vowed to use only vegetable dyes, natural tanning processes, and slaughter only cattle raised on old farmland, as opposed to newly razed rain forests. (Valentino and Kering are also phasing out harmful PVC from their fashion goods–unlike the allegedly ‘eco-friendly’ designer, Vivienne Westwood, who continues to use it in some of her bags and shoes.)

Other brands are using alternative leathers, including fish and eel skins, which usually thrown away as waste in the food production process.

If you’re looking for eco-friendly vegan leather accessories, there are few that beat the sustainability of those made from Piñatex, created from pineapple industry waste. Today, an increasing number of brands, including NAE Vegan, Bourgeois Boheme, and even Hugo Boss are doing great things with this material. Alternatively, cork is another leather-like substance that looks fabulous in bags and wallets, such as those created by Corx and Matt and Nat.

‘Real’ leathers have been used by man for millennia, and when sourced from sustainable ranches and tanned and dyed naturally, these have the potential to be less damaging to the environment than most ‘vegan’ leathers, save those rare ones created from natural materials like cotton or cork. Of course, animal advocates will avoid the use of hiding leather, due to the fact that animals die for us to use their skins, and that is quite right. But the hard reality is that most ‘vegan leather’ is far from an environmentally friendly alternative.

 

Research, follow and research some more

Our best tips for finding cruelty-free and eco-friendly products is to follow the right people on your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest - all of your social media pages! Just search for words like “vegan” or “eco-friendly”, follow the tags and the people and slowly but surely, your news feed will be filled with alternative brands that provide a lot of transparent information on their website and well-made products. Just be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them.

It’s a tricky situation because even though animal-based leather is biodegradable and not adding to the plastic problem on the same scale, tanning – where animal hides are made into the leather using certain chemicals – is an environmentally polluting process.

Veganism and eco-credentials often come hand in hand, so it’s no surprise many of the newer alternatives are striving to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. It’s a fast-moving market so we can expect many new innovations in the future, as more people want to shop in a way that’s sustainable, ethical and cruelty-free.

There is even a new Vegan Fashion Week that has started in LA with great feedback and more shows to come for up and coming cruelty-free and eco-friendly designers!

Leave a comment


Also in Leafy Souls' Vegan Blog

Round Tapestry
Round Tapestry

September 17, 2019

If you’re as drawn to handwoven textiles as I am, this project is for you! I was inspired to make this after working on some round, woven wall hangings because I wanted to translate the round design into something both decorative and functional.
Read More
Top 10 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Vegan
Top 10 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Vegan

September 16, 2019

A vegan or vegetarian diet, which prioritizes grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provides a high carbohydrate content in balance with the protein and fat that the body needs to train and compete even at high levels of sports demand. Meet with us 10 athletes that you didn't know were vegan.
Read More
What Makes Luxury Bag Special?
What Makes Luxury Bag Special?

September 15, 2019

Men have watches and cars - women have handbags. For fashion fiends everywhere the brand name handbag is the status equivalent of a Rolex timepiece or the Italian Ferrari.
Read More
Sizing Guide

In this guide you can see the detailed sizing charts to all our products

Unisex Tshirts

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Width, in 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33
Length, in 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Sleeve length, in 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11

 

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Width, cm 47 52.1 57.2 62.2 67.3 72.4 77.5 82.6
Length, cm 72.4 74.9 77.5 80 82.6 85.1 87.6 90.2
Sleeve length, cm 18.4 19.7 20.9 22.2 23.5 24.8 26 27.3

 

Women's Tees:

S M L XL 2XL
Width, in 17 18 19 20 22
Length, in 26 26 27 28 28
Sleeve length, in 7 8 8 8 8

 

 

S M L XL 2XL
Width, cm 41.2 43.8 46.3 50.2 54
Length, cm 64.4 66 67.6 69.2 70.8
Sleeve length, cm 17.3 17.9 18.5 19.1 19.7

 

Hoodies:

  

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Sleeve length, in 25 25 25 25 25 25 27 27
Length, in 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34
Width, in 20 23 24 26 28 30 33 34

 

S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL 5XL
Sleeve length, cm 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 67.9 67.9
Length, cm 68.5 71.1 73.6 76.2 78.7 81.2 83.8 86.3
Width, cm 50.8 55.9 60.9 66 71.1 76.2 81.3 86.3