Is vegan leather good or bad? this is a highly debatable topic and while my point-of-view will naturally gravitate towards the good given that no innocent animal was sacrificed or its byproducts used in the production, I will still give you the ins and outs of vegan leather.
The vegan leather industry is so hyped up right now with the rise of vegan demographics. It is projected to hit 80-billion mark in 2025 and while it does sound like the new “it” market, there is more to it than meets the eye (read how to veganize your wardrobe).
One of the most common vegan or faux leather material is called PVC or polyvinyl chloride. It’s readily available and cheap, I actually classify it under accidentally vegan because it just happens to contain no animal or derivatives. But if you dig deeper, it is classified as toxic and non-biodegradable. Thankfully, more and more companies now are ditching this plastic given its environmental hazard.
Use of polyurethane is on the rise and is touted to be the “safer” alternative to PVC. The bag you see in these photos is from Veganni, a brand I discovered on Instagram. The company is based out of Philadelphia but their bags are outsourced in China using polyurethane and recycled plastic bottles. The hardwares used were recycled from aluminum gathered from the Vietnam War in the Northern Laos. This brand is PETA approved and donates portion of its sales to a school in Laos and charitable institution like Best Friends Animal Society. This is the reason why I decided to purchase this bag because even though polyurethane has its own share of minor flaws, this is a vegan bag by no accident. Other PU-bags I love are from Angela Roi (see my collection here and review of tote here).
Why go vegan leather? If you’re new to this blog, I invite you to read my journey so you have an idea where I am coming from. Most people think that leather is the “leftover” of meat, I used to! But what most people don’t know is that millions of animals are killed just for leather each year. The horrific truth is that these leathers or raw materials come from China and India where killing of any form and types of animals (not just cows) are happening to supply the demand for leather. There is also environmental and health hazard involved in leather tanning due to formaldehyde and other carcinogenic chemical exposure. People who live near tanneries also suffer from exposure. You can find more information from Vegan Green Planet.
The information is out there. My decision to embrace veganism has liberated and humbled me more than words can describe. I chose this lifestyle for health reasons and compassion for animals. We all have advocacies, I stand for the voiceless.