Synthetic vegan leather came into fashion to revolutionize and stay in style for the long haul.
Similar to the trend to eat animal cruelty-free food because it is better for human health, the environment and, of course, the animals themselves, the fashion industry has also embraced leather as an alternative to natural leather. Like faux fur, praised by the fashion elite, faux leather is becoming relevant to the conscious part of the fashion industry.
A stylish, comfortable alternative to natural leather, despite the synthetic tag, vegan leather is environmentally friendly. It is similar to a vegetarian cheese made from milk extracted from nuts and seeds rather than from a cow or goat, but no different in taste from a traditional cheese. Vegan leather can be sourced from recycled plastic bottles, polyurethane, nylon, cork, and rubber, but the result is so similar to natural leather that it can sometimes be hard to tell apart by eye. Even a material such as polyurethane is more environmentally friendly in the manufacturing process than the poisonous tannins used in skinning.
“The word ‘vegan’ has become a slogan for starting new business with manufacturers.” This is what the Los Angeles Times wrote about a statement by Ilse Metschek, president of the California Fashion Association.
Once considered cheap, vegan leather is now a catwalk favorite. Luxury brands such as Stella McCartney and Joseph Altuzarra have shown faux leather jackets and bags at sky-high prices. In Southern California, where animal rights activists were among the first to secure a ban on the sale of furs, designers are racing to meet the demands of buyers seeking cruelty-free fashion. Modern Meadow made $10 million a year with the introduction of vegan leather goods.
According to The Times, manufacturers and retailers are trying to win the trust of wealthy buyers by promoting Vienna products as a more ethical alternative in fashion. Therefore, vegan leather products should be worn with dignity, and in no case be considered cheap synthetics.