What Is Vegan Leather?

With veganism growing so much in the past few years it's no surprise that the movement has now crossed over into mainstream fashion as well as dominating the food we put on our plates. With more people becoming aware of the leather industry's effects on the environment and the harm it causes animals more people are choosing cruelty free materials and the industry just keeps on growing. Despite the many different exciting vegan projects which are being introduced at the moment, vegan or plant-based leather is perhaps one of the most exciting.

But what actually is this cruelty-free alternative to traditional leather and what is it really made of?

Up until recently, pretty much all vegan leather were made out of plastic-based materials. But over the past few years, innovators have discovered many ways to make vegan leather out of everything from pineapples to cork.

Vegan leather is made from a wide range of materials which resemble the aesthetics of leather, just without using any animal products. Traditional leather is made from tanning animal rawhide and skins however, vegan leather can be made from a variety of different materials including pineapple, cork, plastic or leaves - each having their own benefits, look and feel. These materials are cruelty-free, mainly more sustainable and very accessible. 

Vegan leather pretty much always has a lower impact on the environment than traditional leather as well as the obvious lack of cruelty to the animals due to the raising of cows for leather, which emit a huge amount of methane into the atmosphere and the tanning of leather which is a highly toxic process that results in a significant toxic waste being released into waterways. 

Vegan leather can be made from materials which would otherwise be a natural waste, preventing them from going to landfills, but that once you have finished with them they can be naturally composited meaning they have a very small environmental impact. 

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