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What on earth is ‘sustainable vegan leather’?
Now, that fashion has become of the most polluting industry in the world, leather manufacturing is one of the hottest subjects.
As the leather manufacturing has become a global issue – an alternative was needed.
But, what’s wrong with animal leather?
First, it is built on animal sacrifice. Second, it creates massive environmental pollution.
Finally, it damages the health of the people involved in the process.
Fortunately, there are now vegan options for everything—including leather.
Vegan leather or leather alternative is made to look and feel like animal-based leather.
This type of fabric is certainly not a new thing, and it has been around for years.
Nowadays you can purchase vegan purses made from leather alternatives that do not require the animal sacrifice of pollution.
But, there’s a question we are asked every day.
Is Vegan Leather More Sustainable Than Conventional Leather?
The short answer is, it depends on the materials used.
Right now, the most common material used to make ‘vegan leather’ is PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride).
However, PVC is a non-biodegradable and carbon-intensive material that adds to the toxins in landfills.
The only reason PVC leather is called vegan is that it doesn’t contain any animal parts.
But, it doesn’t mean it is eco-friendly and sustainable.
Nevertheless, there are those vegan leather alternatives that are made from organic, plant-based, and biodegradable materials are eco-friendly, known as sustainable vegan leather.
Faux Leather: Is It Fake?
When people hear about faux leather, the word ‘fake’ immediately comes to mind.
And we all equate fake with sub-par quality.
However, this is far from the truth when it comes to vegan leather alternatives.
Of course, durability and quality are at the top of your list when shopping—as it should be.
The same factors should be considered when comparing faux (synthetic) with animal-based leather.
Vegan leather is often more lightweight, flexible, pliable, durable, and thinner than animal leather.
These are good qualities to consider, especially in fashion, because it makes them easier to work with and they stand the test of time against daily use.
Due to the variety of campaigns aimed at educating the public about vegan leather and all of its possibilities, leather alternatives are gaining popularity.
In fact, faux leather is just as durable as animal leather
And because it is easier to maintain, you can expect it to last for years and years.
Nevertheless, while resource-intensive, these leather alternatives made from PVC and PU are more sustainable than animal-based hides.
Thankfully, advancements in technology have led to the discovery of other more sustainable materials in creating vegan leather.
Nowadays, vegan leather can be made even from recycled plastic, thanks to recent innovations.
Moreover, there are real sustainable vegan leather alternatives out there.
What Is ‘Sustainable Vegan Leather’?
We call real sustainable vegan leather garments and accessories made from organic matter that would have otherwise have gone to waste.
Although not very common, another excellent example of sustainable vegan leather is Kombucha leather.
Kombucha comes from the same symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria used to ferment the kombucha tea.
To make kombucha leather, the slimy culture is dried then softened using coconut oil.
This process helps create a high-quality leather-like fabric that is great for making vegan purses.
Benefits Of Sustainable Vegan Leather
Animal-based leather has a very controversial history in the fashion industry, which brings up a lot of questions about its sustainability.
After all, billions of animals get slaughtered every year by the global leather industry to make frivolous products such as footwear, garments, and accessories.
Likewise, the leather tanning process does not just emit toxic substances and gases but it also uses a copious amount of water and energy.
The whole process causes so much pollution that lands used for tanneries are rendered barren.
By purchasing sustainable vegan leather instead of PVC or conventional leather, you help save animal lives and protect the environment.
You also get a more flexible, soft, and water-resistant fabric for a fraction of the cost.
And because it is waterproof, you can easily wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
You may also clean it using a mild detergent or natural soap, compared to harsh cleaners that are required by animal-based leather.
Additionally, sustainable vegan leather does not need the same maintenance and upkeep required by animal leather products.
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Most sustainable vegan leather alternatives do not stain, crack, fade, or become stiff as quickly as animal skins.
And because it is man-made, sustainable vegan leather can be customised into any pattern, size or texture!
Vegan purses made from this sustainable leather alternative can be made to look exactly like each other.
In the past, this was difficult to achieve as animal leather comes with natural variations.
Such production faults were exploited by the luxury segment creating this distorted perception that the faults add to the uniqueness of the product.
So if you are looking for perfection, sustainable vegan leather is the best option for you.
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A decade of fashion; here’s to the next one.
The past decade has been turbulent – and defining – for fashion: child labour, climate crisis, gender inequality, animal cruelty, and reckless plastic pollution, just to name a few.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the beginning of this decade does not look too good either.
That’s why finding media that reports with rigour and integrity at heart is difficult in critical times.
Finding media that informs all, regardless of where they live or if they can afford to pay, is even harder.
In these times, independent fashion media magazines are increasingly silenced by commercial ownership and social media misinformation.
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