Ultimate Guide to Vegan Leather

Why is there so much fuss about vegan leather? Well, it’s not made from the skins of slaughtered animals, it’s kinder to our planet, and it’s très chic.

So, What Is Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather can be made from innovative and sustainable materials such as pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, other fruit waste, and recycled plastic. Some of it is made from polyurethane, a polymer that can be made to order to suit any designer’s needs.

The list of designers who feature vegan leather in their collections is rapidly growing. And it’s easy to see why: these compassionate materials are versatile. From biker jackets in every cut and colour to the perfect little black dress, you can get a vegan leather version of all your favourites.

And that’s just for starters. You can also find vegan leather shoes, boots, handbags, wallets, and seat covers for your car – Tesla has now joined BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Ferrari in offering a leather option for which no animals were harmed.

Feel Better With Vegan Leather

Not only does vegan leather make you look good, it also makes you feel good because you know no one had to suffer for your garms.

More than a billion cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, ostriches, kangaroos, and even dogs and cats are slaughtered for their skins every year. The tails and horns of many of these animals are cut off, and some are even skinned and cut apart while still conscious.

By contrast, vegan leather offers a killer look without any killing.

Sustainable vegan leather is the best option for the living planet, too. Turning animal skin into leather takes loads of energy and a toxic brew of chemicals – including mineral salts, coal-tar derivatives, formaldehyde, oils, dyes, and finishes, some of them cyanide-based.

Tannery waste contains water-fouling salt, lime sludge, sulphides, acids, and other pollutants. The demand for leather also fuels the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, as Brazilian cattle ranchers supply leather to leading global fashion brands and retailers.

Because of the massive amounts of manure and slaughter waste, intensive water use, deforestation, and greenhouse-gas emissions involved in its production, leather is the most environmentally damaging material, as confirmed by the 2017 “Pulse of the Fashion Industry” report.

So, what’s in your wardrobe? Start shedding skins today with these eco-friendly trends:

Vegan Leather Jackets

Biker jackets are tough, edgy, and always in style. If you don’t see a “vegan” label, look for key words like “faux leather”, “polyurethane”, or “‘man-made’ materials”. Check out this hot faux-leather jacket from Zara:

 

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There’s no shortage of fantastic faux-leather looks at ASOS, but this purple vegan leather blazer tops the list:

Vegan Leather Belts

Cork is the new vegan leather replacement on the block – a recyclable, biodegradable, and versatile material that can be made to look and feel like animal leather.

Corkor makes a great cork belt with a rustic look that goes well with any pair of trousers …

… and Ecowings offers a vegan leather belt made from bicycle inner tubes.

Vegan Leather Purses and Wallets

Swap out your old bifold wallet for a classic vegan card holder by Zessoo made from fallen leaves.

Matt & Nat also offers lots of gorgeous vegan clutches, purses, and wallets to suit your style.

Vegan Leather Handbag

Ditch cow skin and go for a handbag made with apple-peel leather, like this one by Veggani.

Vegan Leather Backpacks

Get yourself a sturdy vegan leather backpack to store the essentials. Airosa offers backpacks in striking colours, from gold to grey.

Vegan Leather Messenger Bags

Moddanio makes messenger bags featuring cork leather in several gorgeous styles.

If you’re a busy professional and always on the go, opt for a vegan leather laptop bag. This padded one from Paguro is made of recycled rubber from tyre inner tubes.

Faux Ostrich Leather Bag

You don’t have to pluck feathers from ostriches to make bumpy leather – this faux ostrich leather bag by GUNAS New York is vegan and just what you’re looking for.

Vegan Leather Trainers

While people debate whether to put pineapple on pizza, throw on these pineapple leather trainers by Hugo Boss.

Vegan Leather Boots

It’s always a great time to break out a pair of By Blanch vegan leather boots, whether you’re a city slicker or a country bumpkin.

Elegant, wearable, and kind to animals – the materials in these vegan boots tick all the boxes.

Vegan Leather Trousers

Meet your new favourite trousers – Vero Moda’s straight leather-look pants in black:

Vegan Leather Mini Skirt

This faux leather skirt from Topshop is so stylish that we can hardly stand it.

Vegan Jeans

Some brands – including Levi’s – use cows’ skin for the patches on the back of their jeans. So the first thing to do when shopping for jeans is to check the label.

Sustainable vegan denim brand Kings of Indigo makes recycled and long-lasting jeans and constantly explores how to reduce the impact of producing its collection on the planet and its inhabitants. Find its jeans on ASOS.

Want to discover more animal-friendly brands you’ll love? Visit our “PETA-Approved Vegan” page: