Vegan leather: An eco-friendly material for sustainable fashion toward environmental awareness

Luna Afroz

Posted on September 10 2022

Vegan leather: An eco-friendly material for sustainable fashion toward environmental awareness

What is pu vegan leather?

Technology has taken a boom and has passed a long way since the invention of PVC. In early ages, man used leaves and animal skins to cover their bodies; taking the tradition forward later in 1200 BC, leather is believed to bring a spike. Leather has been believed to be one of the most Vegan leather and has started gaining a lot of popularity in recent years. Earlier, vegan leather was supposed to be a very cheap material of low quality, but now the time is gone, and vegan leather is manufactured under extraordinary conditions, which automatically enhances its quality without the usage of harmful chemicals. People who love wearing leather daily can be worry free and quickly consume leather alternatives.

It is most popularly used for manufacturing faux leather handbags & purses. In terms of looks and similarities, it is pretty similar and can be a suitable replacement for genuine leather. There are many types of qualities in which vegan leather is available, some which look exactly like genuine leather but are less usable, some are durable but in terms of looks are not that great. The two main types of alternatives to leather are faux leather and vegan leather. Some of the most popular types of vegan leather include PU and PVC. These have an approximate life span of almost two to five years. Usually, people aware of the cons of using natural leather choose this as a genuine alternative. Its life is comparatively much lesser than natural leather, but it can provide equal .


Some benefits of vegan fashion!

As mentioned above, vegan leather is an excellent alternative to genuine leather. Some of the most significant benefits of using vegan leather are:

  1. Impact on environment: Vegan leather helps and contributes to the betterment of the environment by using a minimal amount of clothes. Authentic genuine leather demands an extensive chemical treatment before actually starting the process of converting it into the final product. The chemical process and treatment used harms the environment and reduces the leather's biodegradability. Vegan leather involves polyurethane and textiles for manufacturing and harms less to the environment.
  2. The aesthetics: The looks and ultimate feel of the product are directly proportional to the aesthetics. When manufacturing vegan leather made from cactus and many other raw materials, the control of the look is in the hands of the manufacturer. Different types of leather have different compositions and textures. Vegan leather manufacturing opens a broader perspective of designing for the manufacturer, directly promoting better designs and styles.  
  3. Durability: Vegan leather is highly durable when compared to all other alternatives and has a life of more than 5-6 years. It is water and stain-resistant, which can be exposed to some aspects to a great extent. Vegan leather products are highly eligible for holding up in the worst environmental conditions and can also manage minimalistic wear and tear from time to time.
  4. Animal friendly: Vegan leather is a very crucial step towards the betterment of the lives of animals and sustainability. It is essential for humans to prioritise animal welfare and all the other living creatures on the earth. It saves the animals from getting killed and slaughtered. This directly saves a lot of animals contributing to better living.  
  5. Cost-effectiveness: Manufacturing vegan leather involves a lot of effort and costs, which are directly hazardous for the workers. These chemical treatments to create authentic leather are very expensive and demand a much higher price than usual. There are several other costs involved in the process as well, like feeding the cattle, rearing it etc. Seeing such an extreme and complicated process, it is evident that manufacturing vegan leather is much easier and uncomplex. 

What does sustainable fashion refer to?

Sustainability refers to any product that can be consumed for a long time or which promotes minimalism and advocates for the environment's safety. Sustainable fashion refers to the manufacturing of apparel in a mindful manner that is not environmentally hazardous and still stands on the fashion standards of the industry. Sustainable fashion ensures to reduce the wastage of resources and perform environmentally safe practices. When manufacturing everyday fashion apparel, it involves a lot of chemical washing which pollutes the air, water and soil locality surrounded by which gets adversely impacted. The fashion industry is one of the biggest industries that contribute to environmental distress, and it involves the usage of extreme substances which create pain in the environment. One of the biggest enemies of the domain is fast fashion. To keep up with the latest trends in the market, many apparel manufacturing organisations end up using hazardous chemicals and producing the latest market demands.

Why is vegan leather considered eco-friendly?

Leather has a highly controversial history that is undoubtedly questionable regarding environmental sustainability and being eco-friendly. There are many types of vegan leather-like polyurethane, polyvinyl chloride leather, rubber trade, apple leather, muslin, pineapple leather, grape leather, cork, wood etc. 

Authentic genuine leather requires a lot of processing, chemical treatment, and water. Converting an animal's skin to the final product involves many types of chemical washing, from hazardous chemicals to water treatments. The animal's skin needs to be treated well in a manner that does not get affected for many years. This is the main reason why animal leather is costly and environmentally unsafe. 

Usually, the people surrounded by the fashion apparel manufacturing industries have a high risk of living, and according to a survey, it is analysed that only 3% of people actually live a good life; the rest all die due to pancreatic and lung-related problems. Vegan leather involves no animal killing or slaughtering, which saves their lives, and the fashion doesn't affect at the same time either. Vegan leather, on the other side, is considered eco-friendly as it involves much lesser chemical washes. The animal rights organisation PETA has taken a stance that includes the decision for the saving of animals and animal welfare. PETA says that no products related to animals shall be used in the manufacturing of clothing or accessories by any means. Any apparel manufacturing organisation shall not avoid these animal welfare concerns.   


Significance of environmental awareness and sustainable fashion!

Sustainable fashion is the new fashion of the industry, and it has become quite a compulsion for humans to start considering the importance of saving nature. The fashion industry is one of the most essential parts of the economy, which has a value of over 2.5 trillion $UDS and employs around and around 75 million people across the world. 

To a certain extent, the fashion industry is extravagantly working to reduce the negative impacts of manufacturing on the environment. Considering its extreme harmful effects in nature, many big brands have started using sustainable approaches to manufacturing clothes. There are many benefits of vegan fashion to the industry, people, and nature. 

Environmental awareness is a significant part of the fashion industry as if not taken severe precautions; it may bring a vast impact on nature. When these industries perform the manufacturing process, they tend to produce excessive water waste into rivers, putting the aqua life in danger; then, it also uses hazardous gases that are dashed out through industry pipes. This worsens the quality of air where the people breathe. Also, it kills many birds because of the unavailability of clean and fresh air. Even these chemicals get into the soil and worsen the crops' quality. These are all highly indirect impacts of the pollution done by the fashion industry, which is not visible instantly, but in the long term, it has vast effects which are significantly worse for nature and the environment. The big fashion brands can help and promote eco-friendly manufacturing processes as their small action can help bring a significant impact on the overall fashion industry.


The Conclusion:

Vegan leather is one of the best alternatives to original leather in terms of usage and the manufacturing process. If necessary actions are taken we can save animals to a considerable extent by adapting newer and accessible practices which are environment friendly and also involve less wastage of resources. One of the most significant resources used in manufacturing clothes and other fashion apparel is water; vegan leather manufacturing would require much less water and other resources. This would also reduce animal slaughtering and make the world a better place.


Also, read some interesting information about Where The Industry Is Heading In 2022

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