Vegan Leather….It’s not Your Mom’s Pleather! (VZ 335)

When we first became vegetarians in 2013, the state of vegan fashion wasn’t nearly what it is now. And that was only 6 years ago! 

Today, as more and more people understand that we don’t need to use animals for food and clothing, demand for vegan and cruelty-free products has gone WAY up. 

One of those products is vegan leather. While vegan leather has been around for a while, the types of materials being used to make it has expanded greatly. 

Today we’re going to talk about vegan leather and share a few places where you can buy it.

Feel free to read on to learn more, or listen to us talk about vegan leather here:

 

What is Vegan Leather?

“Vegan leather” refers to faux leather — any material that resembles animal leather but does not include the skin of an animal. Originally, faux leather was made from either polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU or Pleather).

 

There are a lot of questions about how safety and eco-friendliness of PVC and PU. Luckily, these days, we vegan leather is made from a number of natural, eco-friendly materials.

 

5 Common Vegan Leather Materials

 

  1. Cork

A few years ago, when Larissa asked for a new wallet for Christmas, I went shopping for a vegan-friendly option. 

This is when I found out that cork could be used in place of leather. 

 

Cork is great because it’s:

    • Vegan
    • A natural fiber
    • Sustainable
    • Lightweight 
    • Smooth

 

  1. Recycled Plastic and Rubber

Keeping those old tires and plastic bottles out of landfills is a goal that anyone concerned about the environment can get behind.

Fortunately, there are companies that recycle these materials in an environmentally-friendly sustainable way.

 

plastic bottles

  1. Fruit 

Apples, and pineapples, and oranges…oh my! These are just a few of the fruits that are being fashioned into that new vegan leather bag you want for Christmas. 

Fruit-based materials are, of course, sustainable and are cruelty-free too. 

 

  1. Paper

I was intrigued by the use of paper to make faux leather, so I watched a few videos.

It looks like it could take some work, so I wouldn’t spend the time doing this myself (maybe Larissa would!). I’ll leave it up to the amazing designers who use this technique to create lovely faux leather using recycled paper.

 

  1. Tree Bark

This material is very similar to cork. Made from sustainable timber and renewable wood, it’s durable and flexible enough to sew.

 

Where Can I Find Products Made with Vegan Leather?

 

  1. Bead and Reel

What I like about Bead and Reel is that they have a variety of resources on their site.  They call themselves a “mindful living community” connecting brands, bloggers, and shoppers to create a compassionate world together. 

The products on their site are fair trade, artisan made, organic, and vegan but they also have interesting articles on topics like cooking and vegan-related news.

The brands they carry meet Bead and Reel’s standard of their exceptional commitment to mindfulness in fashion.

 

  1. Corkor

It’s no secret, we LOVE Corkor!

Their products are:

    • Certified Vegan (PETA-Approved certification)
    • FSC Certified Cork (Forest Stewardship Council).  This accreditation ensures the protection and adequate harvesting of the cork oak forest. The cork is obtained by removing the outer bark of the tree, without cutting or harming it. As the bark replenishes, cork can be harvested again and again.
    • Handmade by Portuguese artisans.
    • Produced in small batches, which helps reduce waste.

 

Cork products look like leather but they come from a tree! 

 

  1. Matt and Nat 

This company has been around for a while (since 1995, to be exact!).  I like companies like Matt and Nat that were doing the cruelty-free, sustainable thing before it was considered “cool.” 

 

From their site

At MATT & NAT, we live by a simple motto, “Live beautifully”. Living beautifully means appreciating the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us. Our values include social responsibility, excellence, inclusiveness, integrity, learning, authenticity and, of course, love. We are inspired by the textures and hues of nature and, to better protect it, we aim to constantly better our ways.

From the start, being committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in our designs felt natural to us. Each season, we continue to explore new innovative ways to remain sustainable and eco-friendly. Over the years, we’ve been experimenting with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork. Since 2007, we’ve been committed to using linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. We have also recently introduced recycled bicycle tires to our collections.

Matt and Nat collections are found in over 800 boutiques across Canada, the US, the UK, Japan, Germany, and Australia.

 

  1. Good Mood Moon

This company has been handmaking animal-friendly bags and clutches from vegan leather since 2014. 

This looks to be an Etsy store but I did also find them on Poshmark. It looks like they only sell through platforms like this, which is probably what helps them keep their costs down.

The price points on their bags are really good too (from the $20-higher). Most look to be around the $40-$50 range at a glance. 

 

  1. Jeane & Jax 

We’re including this Canadian company because it seems to have a good selection of stuff for the fellas, too! 

They are Peta-Approved and their mission is “to show consumers that you can be just as fashionable and on-trend without causing harm to animals.” 

 

 

We hope this episode has given you some insight into vegan leather and has provided you with a few places to find vegan leather products.  

Remember that we vote with our dollars, so purchasing from a responsible, cruelty-free company increases demand and sends a message that these things matter to us!

 

Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through to the product using the link we have provided. We never recommend or provide affiliate links to products or services we do not use ourselves or that comes from a trusted resource. Our ultimate goal is to provide helpful products and advice to you, our readers, and listeners.

 

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Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board, Vegan Fashion, for MORE Vegan Leather!

 

Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa