Is Vegan Leather Good Or Bad

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.

Is Vegan Leather Good Or Bad?

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.

Is Vegan Leather Good or Bad

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).

Is Vegan Leather Good or Bad

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.

Other alternatives not categorized under vegan leather: cotton, cork, plant-based such as mushroom, pineapple and apple.

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.


Watch my review of this vegan handbag from Veggani

 

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24 Comments

  1. January 26, 2018 / 8:19 am

    I agree with you, a lot of things are accidentally vegan and not necessarily good or sustainable! Thank you for sharing your choices.

  2. January 26, 2018 / 9:55 am

    This is such a wonderful article, and I am glad that you discussed the fact that many vegan leathers are made from things like PVC. This is such a wonderful resource!

  3. January 26, 2018 / 10:31 am

    Definitely one of the reasons that some products made from “vegan leather” never appealed to me since they were only less expensive, less long lasting alternatives made from bad stuff. Very helpful post.

    • thefabzilla
      January 26, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Thanks Allison. Yes it is important to know and not get blindsided by opportunistic companies selling stuff as vegan leather. I’ve had bad experience with some so I feel like it’s important to know what goes behind the production

  4. January 26, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information!

  5. January 26, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    I’ve seen some vegan “leather” bags that were so nice (like your Angela Roi) but some seem to be cheap and have that plastic smell.

  6. 25 Sweetpeas
    January 27, 2018 / 5:51 am

    Many things seem to be accidentally vegan which is neat but it’s weird how soon as you label it either way people then perceive it differently!

    • thefabzilla
      January 27, 2018 / 11:25 am

      If only companies are true with their advertising, people can make intelligent decisions before purchasing

  7. January 27, 2018 / 9:58 am

    My mother won’t use leather products, for religious reasons, so this is a great option for her!

  8. January 27, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    The majority of my bags are made of rexine or leatherette. I have to find out how eco-friendly those two are.

  9. January 27, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Thanks for all the detail in this post! I will say I have always thought of leather as being actually a good thing since I’d rather that any animals that are killed (for food) be fully used… it really is awful if that’s not the case 🙁

    • thefabzilla
      January 27, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      I used to think the same way too, I’m glad to be able to share this important piece of information.

  10. January 27, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    I think this bag is every bit as gorgeous as some leather ones! Thanks for sharing detailed info on Vegan bags.

  11. Jen Walker
    January 28, 2018 / 7:56 am

    I remember many years ago searching for leather alternatives, and PVC was the only option. I’ve never been fond of it due to the toxicity and lack of durability.

    • thefabzilla
      January 28, 2018 / 11:37 am

      I agree. I am just glad that more companies are now finding ways to produce cruelty-free and sustainable products

  12. January 28, 2018 / 8:21 am

    I come from a country with a thousand-year long tradition of wearing furs, so I’ve always known that animals are specifically raised and killed for their fur and leather. Wearing fur and leather in Russia is still considered a big part of the culture, and opting for faux fur and vegan leather is just a sign that you’re poor and can’t afford the real thing. Sounds like more and more young people are trying to break that tradition though. My sister is a yoga fitness influencer and a long-time vegetarian, and she said that most of her friends are going vegetarian and vegan. It’s nice that we are slowly starting to see a global shift toward more sustainable and plant-based life!

    • thefabzilla
      January 28, 2018 / 11:36 am

      I am happy to hear that. More voice means more awareness to change tradition and influence culture.

  13. Yvette
    January 28, 2018 / 10:22 am

    Beautiful bag! Great post, I have been buying canvas bags lately. Thanks for sharing.

  14. January 28, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Once you really become aware of the plight of animals in this country there is no going back. I appreciate that there are so many options for vegan leather.

  15. January 29, 2018 / 4:52 am

    I never knew any of this!! I also wanted to say you look great!

    • thefabzilla
      January 30, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Many thanks! Happy to share information

  16. January 29, 2018 / 11:04 am

    I’ve never really thought about cheap vegan leather being toxic or not eco-friendly!!

  17. January 29, 2018 / 11:21 am

    Great pros and cons. I definitely agree with the PVC. I love all the info and you look fabulous.

    • thefabzilla
      January 30, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      Mahalo sister

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