As the welfare of animals is a big part of our 'WHY' in business here are what we deem to be the 5 most important reasons why vegan leather bags are a much better and kinder option, as well as some key details to look out for when shopping for one.
Firstly though, what is vegan leather made of?
The term “vegan leather” is exactly as it sounds — it is leather that does not contain any animal products, nor produced with any cruelty towards animals. Vegan leather can be made from a range of different materials and the list continues to grow.
Vegan leather can be made from:
Polyurethane material (known as PU leather), cork, paper, mushrooms (known as MuSkin), pineapples (known as Pinatex), apple skins, cacti plants, mango, kelp and coconut.
However, the most popular material used for 'vegan hand bags' is PU leather (polyurethane) which is synthetic. It is 100% vegan, and contains no animal ingredients. It was developed to create an alternative to traditional animal leather. It is made by adding a coating of polyurethane on fabric to create a “leather-like” texture and is then processed several times to achieve a smoother and softer finish. The vegan leather bags which we stock are made from PU leather.
PU leather was originally created as an alternative to PVC leather, the original “faux” leather material that most brands incorporated in their transition to more ethical fashion during the 1960's and 70's. However... BIG RED FLAG.... PVC releases dioxins, which are potentially dangerous in confined spaces and especially dangerous if burnt. It also contains plasticisers such as phthalates to make it flexible. Depending on the type of phthalate used, they’re extremely toxic. It has been described by Greenpeace as the “single most environmentally damaging type of plastic”. Due to this PVC leather has been replaced by PU leather. PU leather is made similarly, yet without the addition of these hazardous chemicals, and as a result its waste is much easier to degrade over time. With this being said, it is comparable that PU leather is a better option for not only those working with and processing the material, but also for the environment.TIP: When choosing a vegan leather bag avoid ones made from PVC. With bags made from PU check to make sure it is designed free of chemicals and is produced by a company that maintains high standards as well as ethical and responsible practices (check their certification). Also check to make sure it is not made from 'Split Leather' which is actually recycled animal skin leather coated with PU leather.
So here are 5 reasons why vegan leather handbags are better!
1. CRUELTY FREE
Firstly, vegan leather is cruelty free and does not involve the slaughter of animals to obtain their skin for the production of leather. More than a billion cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, ostriches, kangaroos, and even dogs and cats are cruelly slaughtered for their skins every year. The tails and horns of many of these animals are cut off without anesthesia, and some are even skinned and cut apart while still conscious. As an alternative, vegan leather offers a killer look without any killing.
Innovation towards creating more ethical and sustainable options for leather has been incredible over the past few years. Finding vegan materials that are just as durable and high-quality, yet do not cost the planet nor the animals has been an absolute game changer.
If you are an eco-friendly person who truly cares for the environment and its wellbeing, vegan leather bags are just the thing for you. This is because with vegan leather you can purchase designer bags guilt-free and still be stylin!
In terms of environmental sustainability vegan leather bags generally produce much less waste on average, making their production one of the most efficient ones in the fashion industry. The making of vegan leather handbags is also less resource-intensive. Further more, the process releases much fewer toxins into the atmosphere ensuring that there is less air pollution caused. The creation of vegan leather also makes good use of waste materials which would otherwise just go into land fill.
[Image by Urban Originals ]
All of these factors combine together to make these vegan bags much more sustainable than bags made from other materials.
Note: Another reason not to choose animal leather products is that without tanning, a leather hand bag would rot right off your arm. Animal skin is turned into finished leather by the application of a variety of toxic substances, including mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes—some of them cyanide-based.
3. QUALITY + DURABILITY
Another major benefit of using vegan leather bags is the great quality control that comes with the manufacturing. The reason why it is difficult to differentiate between vegan leather and real leather is because high-quality vegan leather has the same texture and roughness as genuine leather, so by switching to vegan leather for the betterment of the planet, you won't be making a compromise in terms of the good you will get out of the product. In terms of PU leather, it is super-durable. In comparison to animal leather, it is crafted to be more breathable and lighter in weight, yet is made to last for years to come. The longevity of this material is impeccable, considering it is scratch and waterproof. With proper care and storage, a handbag made from PU leather is intentionally designed to be a forever piece.
[ Image by Urban Originals ]
Vegan leather handbags come in a variety of different styles, designs and colours. It is considered to be much more adaptable than actual leather because it has a greater capacity to store pigment. It can also easily be moulded into different shapes. The possibilities are limitless in terms of design.
5. LESS EXPENSIVE
Every leather bag in the world may have cost you a big hole in your pocket, but vegan leather bags will not do that. Vegan is easier on your bank account and provides you with similar quality and texture. Animal-based leather always costs more due to the expenses involved in processing and preserving it.