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Faux Leather: Is it All Good?
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Faux Leather: Is it All Good?

Remember when fake leather was referred to as pleather? It called to mind squeaky sofas and crinkly jackets. But now there’s such a thing as vegan leather, meaning no animals are required to make it!

People are becoming more focused on what they’re wearing, so being told that their faux vegan leather is cruelty-free and doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients seems to go down much better when they’re eyeing out that stunning vegan leather jacket in the shop window.

Big names in fashion such as Stella McCartney have been displaying gorgeous vegan leather items, such as jackets and bags, but there are also budget-friendlier options for consumers that look appealing. Pleather used to look highly plastic and synthetic, but now with the use of textile technology materials can look almost as real as genuine leather.

  • What's the Catch?

However, vegan leather is not all rosy. Although vegan leather is kinder to animals, it can still be dangerous to humans. Some types of faux leather make use of petroleum-derived materials. These can include polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that can be harmful to health because it contains chlorine that also is bad for the planet as it causes pollution. Besides for chlorine, PVC also contains toxic additives such as lead.

  • Green Alternatives 

So when buying fake leather, consider that you can find leather lookalikes that are completely good for the environment. They make use of fabrics that are kinder to the earth than leather but look a lot like it. Examples include cotton canvas (which is also water-resistant) and paper. Yes, paper! Recycled cardboard can be treated with natural oils to make it nice and velvety in texture, giving you that luscious feeling without any of the leather. When choosing vegan leather always make sure it’s good for the environment, skipping all those harmful ingredients, because then it will also be good for you.

*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

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Leave a Comment

  1. Support
    Support
    A great piece on a complex topic! Thanks, Giulia!
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  2. Karin
    good info, thanks !
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  3. Siamese
    This brings up great points. Not all vegans are environmentally aware or conscious. It is a personal choice however I love when folks look at all aspects to determine if a product or company is good. Buying, consuming or wearing something that is destroying the environment is definitely not helping animals.
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  4. DelCasa
    I used to buy vegan leather because I was under the impression that it was better for the environment, but then I read an article saying it was worse! http://eluxemagazine.com/magazine/what-the-heck-is-vegan-leather/ So now I'm not sure what to do. I am vegan for the animals, but I am also eco-conscious for the planet. I hate that I may have to choose between the two?
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  5. Unicorn Goods
    Unicorn Goods
    Thanks for writing! It's good to note that synthetic leather is still emits 2x-20x less carbon than real leather. Buying animal-free is by far the more eco-friendly choice. https://unicorngoods.com/blogs/blog/98200006-which-is-more-eco-friendly-fake-leather-or-real-leather
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