If you want to eliminate the exorbitant wasted energy, water, land use and animal life for the vegan lifestyle our sustainable choices have you covered.
You can find vegan leather shoes, boots, handbags, and seat covers for your car. And if you have deep pockets, Tesla recently became the latest luxury automaker to offer vegan leather seating, joining BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Ferrari.
So what is vegan fashion? I thought if it wasn't leather it was vegan.
Simply put vegan fashion is clothing or accessories made from cruelty-free sources, meaning no animal derived fabrics or materials are used at ANY part of the process. These not only means no wool, leather, or silk but also no horn buttons, no beeswax adhesive and no beetle color dye.
What's wrong with leather?
The misconception is that leather is a "by-product" of the meat industry & therefore more ethical. Unfortunately, leather is more of a "co-product" of the meat industry, and does drive overall demand of cows being raised for human use. And the factory farmers get high prices by selling hides as well.
Leather has become such a sought after product by even fast fashion brands like Target and H&M who want to offer "genuine leather" goods in their stores. And all these materials come from the factory farming to animals for human use, there is just nothing ethical about that.
You have hopefully heard that the factory farming of animals (for any reason) is anything by eco friendly. . CO2 emissions from farmed animals is one of the largest causes of climate change in the world. The tanning process used on leather is also very harmful as it utilizes toxic chemicals in the process.
What is used instead?
The most commonly used materials for synthetic leathers are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic based materials. Another term for fake leather is “pleather” which comes from the term plastic leather. Therefore if you are looking for a sustainable leather free item remember that vegan leather is not necessary better because PVC and PU are oil based, a non-renewable resource that humans should avoid using.
However some vegan leathers are made from natural materials like pineapple leaves and kelp.