In the previous era of consumption, consumers prioritized functionality, quality, and luxury. Today, there is one more criterion that has become crucial - they are now putting sustainability at the top of their must-consider lists when it comes to consumption of any kind. Folks of the modern-day fashion sector are now more inclined towards buying from vegan leather brands that come with the promise of preserving the environment, or at the least not following practices that actively harm it.
Is vegan leather durable? Let’s take the example of our very own brand. Non-leather shoes by Ethik have better structural integrity than leather. We use high-quality microfiber to make our belts versatile enough to be offered in an exhaustive range of finishes, textures, and colors with zero compromises on quality. You can be assured that the color won't fade or come off over time. Our wallets are 100% plant-based and they excel at it all - the looks, the function, and the build.
Consumers belonging to almost every sector are now being more conscious when making their choices. As such, there is no denying that eco-friendly vegan leather is a grand aspect when speaking of the future of fashion. Vegan leather products are making a buzz in the market, given that they are completely leather-free, and consequently cruelty-free.
In this blog, we will address the new-age battle contributing to the evolution of fashion - vegan leather vs real leather.
Vegan Leather vs Real Leather - Choose Wisely
What is real leather? The direct source of real leather comes from the meat industry. It is produced from the skin of animals like kangaroos, elephants, zebras, bison, crocodiles, alligators, snakes, and more. As glaringly obvious as the reality is, we often tend to look away from the fact that leather is a by-product of the meat industry - a sector that thrives on animal cruelty owing to its nature.
The livestock and leather industry are two of the most polluting sectors of all. The cattle industry alone contributes heavily to deforestation and the spread of greenhouse gases. Apart from facilitating animal cruelty, these sectors also cause harm to the environment and human health.
Producing leather from animal skin involves multiple complicated processes. These processes are fueled by huge amounts of energy and harmful chemicals like mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes. Let’s take the example of chrome tanning - a common process wherein animal skin is tanned to prevent it from rotting. Here, the hide has to be placed in a bath of water, chromium salts, and tanning liquor to ensure the skin does not decompose and retains its color. Given that chromium is a highly toxic chemical, it puts the health of workers at risk.
Each step of the production process generates industrial waste in one form or another. When these chemicals are released into the atmosphere, they eventually lead to soil, water, as well as air pollution.
What is vegan leather? It is essentially a material that looks and feels much like leather but is made from resources that do not originate from animals. As such, it is also called faux leather, pleather, or synthetic leather. To put it simply, the material whose production process does not involve causing harm to animals is vegan. The evolved versions of vegan leather make for a great alternative because it brings you the same quality, without any cruelty.
The demand for vegan leather is on the rise. The industry is predicted to be worth up to $89.6 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 49.9%, in the forecast period (2019-2025). To keep up with this changing trend, brands are consistently exploring alternatives for real leather.
The most common alternative materials used are PU (polyurethane) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Brands that are striving to make good on their promise of sustainably are trying to develop improved PU as it is less damaging than PVC. They are also making active efforts to reduce toxins released during the manufacturing process.
At times, there are challenges with vegan leather as some synthetics used to produce them are not entirely biodegradable. This is where innovative plant-based alternatives come to the rescue. Plant-based and renewable materials like cactus leather, apple leather (made from apple peels), Piñatex (made from pineapple leaf fibers), cork, other fruit waste, and recycled plastic can be used to create products that give animal skin-based leather a run for its money.
Given that vegan leather products are starting to take their rightful place in stores (both online and offline), it is time to take the eco-friendly path by embracing new ways of sustainable fashion. Your contribution to this reinvented sector can start with Ethik - one of the leading brands that promote non-leather fashion through thoughtfully crafted collections of premium shoes, wallets, and belts.
Shop With Ethik - Buy Non-leather Shoes, Wallets & Belts Online
Join the sustainable fashion revolution with Ethik - a leading premium non-leather fashion brand in India. Our vegan shoes are intricately crafted, which makes them reveal their beauty with time. Built with sheer effort and a keen eye for each detail, every shoe will be a marvel to behold. We are also home to accessories - non-leather belts and wallets.
Each one of our vegan belts is a product of fine craftsmanship. It involves intricate work and finishing that spells finesse. The straps are first cut to perfection with neat edges and then secured together with high-quality adhesives. The perfectly fitted buckles add to their charm. They are available in a range of colors - brown, tan brown, dark brown, chocolate brown, and more.
Our vegan wallets are carved out of plant-based materials. They are the perfect blend of nature & design - incredibly functional, produced in attractive colors & look gorgeous. Thoughtfully crafted, they come with hand-aligned pockets for easy organization. Each one is finished with a hand-turned edge for extra durability, while also maintaining its lightweight feature.
If you are looking to buy vegan wallets and belts online or buy vegan shoes online, feel free to browse through exclusive non-leather collections on www.ethikonline.com