What is Vegan Leather? The Complete Manual for Fake Leather
Faux leather, often known as vegan leather, has been used to make handbags for many years in a variety of forms. Faux leather is no longer as cheap, flimsy, or loaded with dangerous chemicals as it once was.
Since PVC was initially created, technology has advanced significantly, and there are now a variety of cruelty-free methods to accessorize with faux leather on the market. Learn more about vegan faux leather by reading on.
You can learn more about Vegan leather on PETA’s website.
Vegan bags, what are they?
The materials used to make vegan bags are all vegan. This means that every component of them is devoid of animal products, including the adhesive that is used and the exterior covering materials like vegan leather bags. However, vegan handbags don't entirely exclude the use of animal ingredients. Many businesses now make an effort to utilize materials that are as sustainable as possible and make sure that the people who make their bags are given a decent salary.
Of course, not every business operates in that manner, so it is important to conduct your research and confirm that the company you are buying from is not using the vegan label while still encouraging slave labor. We may advance toward a more sustainable future in a number of ways, including using eco-friendly accessories.
Vegan leather - what is it?
Vegan leather is imitation leather that hasn't used any animal byproducts in its production. Many people wonder if faux leather is entirely vegan because some of this "pleather," as it is commonly called, looks so much like the genuine article. Yes, that is the response.
Despite how authentic it might appear, imitation leather isn't created using any animal byproducts. The only piece of advise I can give is to constantly double-check product labels. Real leather is often substituted with cruelty-free vegan leather, although many individuals believe that, like fur, real leather should never be used to produce purses or other accessories.
What materials are used to make a vegan purse?
A wide range of materials can be used to create vegan handbags. Faux leather is the most popular. However, you may also find vegan purses manufactured from a variety of alternative artificial materials, such as waxed cotton and repurposed rubber. Even cork has been utilized to create eco-friendly bags that we may use guilt-free.
There are two primary types of vegan handbags. The first type are the bags that use some type of imitation leather to attempt to mimic leather. These make an effort to resemble the real object as closely as possible. The other variety of vegan bags is made of materials other than leather, such as canvas, cork, or cotton.
How is fake leather made?
Because there are so many varieties of vegan leather, it's not always simple to explain how to create it. Polyvinyl chloride has historically been used and is the most prevalent. It is a plastic that is coated onto the back of a polyester layer of cloth and is also known as PVC.
PVC is vegan, but for other reasons it might not be the greatest substitute. For starters, this substance is what gives vegan leather its reputation for being inexpensive. PVC is essentially a thin layer of plastic with a fabric covering due to its extensive mass production. To the detriment of all animals, animal leather has maintained its reputation as being durable and robust despite not withstanding daily wear and tear particularly well.
Does vegan leather work for vegans to wear?
There have been faux leather fabrics for apparel for years, and some women simply cannot live without their pleather leggings! How can a vegan utilize PVC, though, given the environmental issues with it? Real leather and vegan leather both raise environmental issues, but faux leather doesn't use any animal products and doesn't harm any animals in the process.
As previously said, companies are making every effort to make faux leather as sustainable as possible, and more and more creative solutions are emerging. One of them is kombucha, which is created from the same mixture as the tea that is becoming more and more well-liked. Kombucha leather has the wonderful feature of being compostable after use. That is some eco-friendly leather, for sure!
Vegan leather: Is it green?
You're all undoubtedly thinking at this point if vegan leather is safe for the environment. Sadly, the answer is no when it comes to PVC. PVC has the same issue as any other plastic products because it is made of plastic.
The first problem is the amount of energy and chemicals required for production. Dioxins are hazardous chemicals that are released during the production of PVC. Additionally, phthalates-type compounds are used to cure it. These phthalates are harmful to people as well as to animal life.
PVC shares the same difficulties with biodegradability as all other polymers. PVC is not at all biodegradable. The fact that PVC clothing and accessories are treated like trash because they are so cheap and flimsy makes this situation worse. This indicates that they are disposed of at a phenomenal rate and end up on landfills. This then produces its own set of chemicals when they begin to break down little in the sun.
But don't give up. PVC and its substitutes are now being produced using new technologies in ever-more environmentally friendly methods. There are also companies that use PVC that is stronger and more resilient, like the leatherette found on some sofas. Although these substitutes aren't biodegradable, they are made to last just as long as genuine leather. The most environmentally friendly choice is to look for PVC-free vegan leather when purchasing accessories.
Is vegan leather preferable to genuine leather?
You might be unsure if choosing vegan leather is the best course of action.
Due to the damaging effects PVC has on the environment and the perception that leather is a one-time purchase, some environmentalists nevertheless support the usage of real leather. For the sheer reason that it is vegan, however, faux leather is still preferable to genuine leather. The kind of PVC you buy is also crucial. Because of the numerous fragile clothing items on the market, PVC has a poor reputation. However, if you shop carefully, you can find PVC products that are constructed to an extremely high level and are very robust.
The only way to transform leather from an animal hide into a functional product is by tanning. This employs chromium, a substance that is particularly bad for the environment. More water and energy are used since the runoff from this needs to be treated before it can be reintroduced into the water system.
Making an excellent leather imitation that is identical to the real thing is becoming more and more sustainable as new developments in the vegan leather business occur constantly. Because the colour can be added while the leather is being made, faux leather is also considerably simpler to dye. This implies that you can obtain a variety of colors without a lot of work or the damaging tanning procedure.
Is vegan leather durable?
When properly constructed and not composed of single-layer PVC, vegan leather is surprisingly resilient. A quality jacket made of pleather will be comparable to one made of genuine leather.
Since it isn't composed of animal hide, it doesn't require constant maintenance to preserve its suppleness. Like real leather, faux leather is also resistant to breaking. Naturally, precautions should still be taken. For instance, you shouldn't hang your vegan leather purse on its straps if you do have one. Additionally, you shouldn't expose vegan leather products to direct sunlight since the heat may degrade their quality. Simply take care of your stuff as you would other products, in general. Don't be tough, but use them nonetheless!
Vegan leather is water resistant.
Vegan leather is water-resistant, although some products react to water better than others depending on what you are using.
For instance, a vegan leather jacket will offer additional waterproofing. However, many handbags are not made to be heavily wet, so even though they are waterproof, you shouldn't take them outside during a downpour. Do not forget to let imitation leather products air dry. They aren't compatible with a tumble dryer, just like genuine leather!
How is vegan leather cleaned?
Consumers frequently inquire about how to properly clean vegan leather. The solution is simple and is identical to how you would clean genuine leather. Although real leather cleaning wipes will also work in this situation, imitation leather cleaning wipes are available. Gently scrub the faux leather with the wipe, paying close attention to any stains.
Using a gentle detergent is an additional faux leather cleaning technique. Real leather and vegan leather both have the drawback of absorbing substances like ink, oil, and alcohol. So if you're wondering how to get color out of faux leather, lukewarm water with a little light detergent in it is the answer. Use an undyed cloth to wipe off the back, and then wipe it again using just water and a cloth. Repeat once more with a cloth that is entirely dry.
If you can't do this right away after a spill, consider applying some cornstarch or talcum powder to a grease stain. You can use this to naturally remove stains from faux leather and wipe it off later.
Avoiding heat is another important advice for caring for vegan leather. Always let an item air dry if it does become wet. Never use artificial heat of any kind to vegan leather because this can harm it.
What stores sell vegan leather?
Handbags and accessories made of vegan leather are already widely available. Anyone who wants to make their purchase as ecologically friendly as possible should always do their study on the type of leather being used and the working conditions in the region where it is manufactured.
View our selection of eco-friendly vegan leather bags right now!