What is vegan leather?

So there is this “new” thing, it’s called Vegan leather, but what is it exactly?

Let’s start by explaining what Vegan in general means.
Being on a vegan diet means you don’t eat animal products at all. So no products made from and by animals; no meat, no dairy, no eggs and also no honey.
And then there is the Vegan Lifestyle, when you life a vegan lifestyle, you don’t use and eat animals or animal by-products. No leather, no silk, no beauty products and any other product that was made using animals in any way.

Now we’ve got that settled, we can start figuring out this big mystery term “Vegan Leather”.
Vegan means not using animals in any way, so Vegan leather refers to any material that was designed to look and feel like leather without harming animals.
We all know the excistence of faux fur, faux pas, faux leather. The most common version of faux leather are composed of either Polyvincyl chloride (PVC) or Polyurethane (PU). So as you can see, they’re not made from animal by-products. You’ll probobly feel it coming… Vegan leather is in fact faux leather. There is no difference between most artificial, faux and vegan leathers other than terminology.

But there are different kinds of vegan leather:

  • Vegetan:This is a microfibre material that is specifically designed and used as an animal-friendly leather substitute.
  • Lorica:This material is made out of several different microfibers.  Patented and manufactured by Lorica Sud, an Italian tannery
  • Birko-Flor: This is what eco-icon Birkenstock It’s made out of acrylic and polyamide felt fibres. There are two kinds — the kind you find on normal Birks and a kind that looks like pleather.
  • Birkibuc:Another Birkenstock baby. It’s made out of the same stuff, but looks and feels like nubuck leather.
  • Kydex:This is an acrylic-PVC alloy. It’s produce by Kleerdex, a manufacturing company.
  • PVC:And of course the one we all know; Polyvincyl chloride. Good for animals. Not so good for the environment.
  • PU: And the other one you might have heard of before, also known as polyurethane, not so good for the environment either.

These types of leather vary from “Cheap” Vegan leather (usually PVC) to “High Quality” Vegan leather (usually PU) and many in between. So not all vegan or faux leather fabrics have to be cheap and bad quality, as most people will say about faux leather. It’s just that people don’t tend to pay more money for a faux leather, but if you call it vegan leather, is has a much classier and positive vibe to it. Because faux, means fake and we don’t want that of course.

The higher quality vegan leather can be extremely durable and water resistant. So they will look the same as the day you bought them and you don’t have to worry your bag gets ruined in the rain.  And of course the biggest advantage to vegan leather is that you get the aesthetics of real leather without the cost of an animal’s life.

So Vegan leather, is the same as faux leather, just with a nicer name and a positive association.

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