Fashion Brand Wins Legal Right to Say ‘Apple Leather’ and ‘Vegan Leather’

For Immediate Release:

16 September 2019


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]


Challenge From Leather Industry Fails – Top German Dictionary Expands Definition of ‘Leather’ After Talks With PETA Germany

London – Last week, the Hanover district court ruled in favour of fashion brand Nuuwaï after the German Leather Federation sued the vegan handbag manufacturer for using the terms “apple leather” and “vegan leather”. The court ruled that the terms are neither misleading nor anti-competitive, as the term “vegan” is well known even outside the food industry – and because Nuuwaï’s designs carry the “PETA-Approved Vegan” label, representing a well-known animal rights organisation.

In response to the leather industry’s attack, PETA Germany asked German dictionaries to expand their definition of “leather” – and the Duden, considered the premier German dictionary, has already included vegan leather in its online edition.

“Eco-friendly vegan leathers made with apples, cork, or pineapples are a thorn in the leather industry’s side,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “As more and more shoppers opt for clothing, shoes, and accessories that are kinder to animals and the planet, PETA looks forward to seeing even more designers embrace vegan leathers and kick the skins industry to the kerb.”

The leather industry subjects more than 1 billion animals every year to intensive confinement, castration without pain relief, extreme crowding, and a terrifying trip to the abattoir. Leather is a lucrative co-product of the meat industry, which is one of the world’s biggest polluters and contributors to climate change. And tanneries – which use formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, cyanide-based dyes, and other dangerous chemicals – are notorious for polluting nearby water and soil.

For these reasons and others, vegan leather – made with pineapple leaves, grapes, mushrooms, cork, and more – is on the rise. Top designers including Stella McCartney, Vika Gazinskaya, and Felder Felder all refuse to use animal leather in their collections, and two-thirds of millennials reportedly would pay more for sustainably made items. Market research firm Grand View Research found that the vegan leather industry continues to show strong growth and will be worth more than US $85 billion by 2025.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit