Choose Purity over Cruelty: The Case for Vegan Leather

     Vegan leather is good for the planet, good for the animals and just good for your soul. The vegan leather industry is predicted to be worth $89 billion by 2025. Scientists are using innovative solutions to create plastic-free vegan options—from mushrooms, bark cloth, cactus to kombucha-cultures, to even a natural textile made from pineapple fibre called Pinatex. While these leather alternatives may still use some petroleum-based products to hold the fibers together, it’s significantly less than that used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or or polyurethane (PU) leather, also known as Pleather.  Recently, animal activist and model Pamela Anderson launched a vegan handbag collection made from apple skin leather

     The benefits of vegan leather are endless. Most importantly, it's cruelty-free and eco-friendly. Vegan leather can be made to order so there's little material wastage as all material is custom cut. Less CO2 and greenhouse gases are emitted than animal leather. With the rise in the animal population, it is one of the main sources of pollution and CO2 emission. Less toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing and disposal of vegan leather, as animal leathers use a process called "tan & finish" to the animal hide, which is hazardous to flora and fauna. The synthetic leather process releases toxic chemicals into the environment, such as phthalates to make it flexible, and dioxins, which are known to cause serious developmental and reproductive problems and are dangerous in confined spaces, especially if burnt. Vegan leather is waterproof and allows for easier maintenance, which can be rather expensive with animal leather. 

     Both vegan and synthetic leather are friendly in the sense that no animal parts are used in the manufacturing process, but PU and PVC are not eco-friendly.  Only organic vegan leather is BOTH cruelty-free and sustainable.  Just know, that whatever informed decision you make is entirely up to you. Being conscious of the environment when you make a purchase is a step in the right direction. It's important to think about your personal values and ethics when considering where you spend your money, knowing that Mother Nature and the animals send their thanks in advance.

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