It is undeniable that wearing or using faux leather based fashion product could compliment our style and somehow increase our confidence. The demand of this kind of material keeps increasing and we count more and more items made of it: shoes, bags…
Despite the trend, not everyone has a deep understanding of the kind of leatherette they buy, of its making process and of whether or not it meets the ethical guideline they may expect. At Attitude Organic, we pay extra attention to all of these aspects. If you are a faux leather lover and care to find out more, check this article out!
What is Faux Leather?
Faux leather (or vegan leather) is one of many other terminologies given to artificial or synthetic leather. Created to mimic the similar feel to genuine leather, it was invented by the Germans during World War and improved by DuPont in 1963. In better quality and more comfortable, we now use it to make any clothing or upholstery.
We could say that vegan leather is definitely the best alternative to the cheaper version of leather material, and at the same time, does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. There are two types of leatherette: both made from plastic, one is the mixed with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and the other with polyurethane (PU). The PU type, more breathable is used to make our biker jacket while the PVC one is mostly used for furniture and sofas.
Thanks to the latest technology we can create the best imitation of real leather with lots of colours and patterns option. Our love for pretty looking faux leather is definitely satisfied. However as we are passionate about health and ethical issues, what else should we know about this synthetic leather?
Is Faux Leather Vegan Friendly?
Being critical vegan-friendly and cruelty-free products enthusiasts, it is important to ask ourselves a question, “Is faux leather vegan?”
As explained above, the faux leather fabric making is human-made and hurts no animals. Thus it is safe to say that this leatherette is vegan friendly!
The rise of people who are conscious of what they wear results in a higher demand of cruelty-free products and inspires more fashion houses to go vegan. Media oftentimes highlight this incredible transformation, and we can finally see that major brands such Gucci and Michael Kors have now stopped using real leather. (Yay!) And we do genuinely hope that more and more big fashion houses will follow their paths! The famous Matt & Nat bag brand offers a more affordable range of vegan bags if you consider a most conscious purchase.
Environmental Health and Ethical Issues Surrounding Faux Leather
Faux leather may be kinder to animal but does it have any effects on us or on our mother earth? As explained before, its main ingredients are plastic and some other chemicals. Take PVC as an example: it contains toxic components such as phthalate, chlorine and lead. Those substances cause cancer when in contact with the skin too often.
There is some PVC-free vegan leather, but it contains petroleum-based chemical as a substitute. We all know that petroleum oils come from fossil fuel which is not renewable either sustainable. Besides, the manufacturing of this oil emits carbon dioxide. We can clearly say that PVC-free vegan leather is not safe for the environmental health.
What You Need to Know Before Purchasing Faux Leather
Now we have a bigger understanding about faux leather. Regardless the kind of consumer you are, it remains important to stay alert and critical about whatever we take or buy by paying more attention at the product’s label.
PETA has suggested that the best kind of faux leather fabric is the PU type. Some garment scientist have also discovered vegetable-based plastic and they are now able to make PU plastic with vegetable oil. This special type of PU-based faux leather is biodegradable, environmentally friendly and more sustainable! Fashion brands use more and more this so called “eco-friendly leather” and/or PU to make their bags and shoes.
As educated customers, we must be aware that there are drawbacks in every thing we do or buy. In the faux leather case, by protecting animals, we might affect our health or the environment. However, the best thing we could do is to be curious about the cruelty-free business practice. Also, keep supporting brands that put extra effort to create a more sustainable product. Cheers!