The fashion industry is not known for being sustainable. It’s a good thing that innovations lead to sustainable materials like vegan leather. Vegan leather, also called faux leather, looks just like the real thing but it does not harm animals for their hide.
How Sustainable is Vegan Leather?
Although vegan leather does not harm animals, it’s not 100% eco-friendly because making it requires the burning of fossil fuels. Also, it’s made of a plastic material that’s layered over a base textile. Still, making it is less harmful to the environment because it does not require tanning - a process consisting of a cocktail of toxic chemicals including heavy metals and cyanide. These chemicals are meant to stop the hide from rotting.
Some may argue that synthetic leather is just as harmful to the environment as real leather but according to a report by Global Fashion Agenda, the impact of synthetic leather on the environment is only a third of the environmental impact of cow leather.
Apart from being the more eco-friendly choice, vegan leather is also ethical. in many cases, the animals are skinned alive. Some designers claim that leather is just a by-product of the meat industry but that’s not the case all the time. Millions of animals are farmed for their skin, just like fur.
Why We LOVE Vegan Leather
Better Fit, Longer Wear
If you’re a long-time fan of our uber-comfy Latin dance shoes, you know that most of our products are crafted from vegan leather. Why? Two things - first, real leather tends to soften over time and it’s cruelty-free.
In many cases, real leather becomes too soft to a point that the fit and wear are affected. Your leather shoes may fit perfectly now but within a few months or a year, it will start being loose. And you know how it is with Latin dance shoes, the fit has to be perfect otherwise, it will be hard to dance in ‘em. Vegan leather does stretch after some time but only to a point. It is almost as hardwearing as genuine leather but the fit won’t change over time.
Another reason why we love vegan leather is that it’s cruelty-free. We try our best to bring you high-quality products that are made without harming the environment - including the creatures that live on it. Our collection includes a couple of leather-made shoes but for the most part, we’re all about vegan leather!
High-quality vegan leather is easy to clean and even easier to maintain. Because the surface material doesn’t have pores, it does not absorb liquid spills that often lead to stains and unsightly watermarks.
The material is resilient, it won’t crack or break when taken care of properly. It’s not as durable as real leather but close.
Vegan leather does have a synthetic smell but it does not develop bad odors - a common problem with leather goods. You don’t need to buy pricey creams or waxes either, the material wipes clean and it’s good as new again! For stubborn marks, use a soft cloth dampened with a mild detergent and it should come right off. Use a regular stain eraser for marks that are hard to remove like pen marks, etc.
While vegan leather isn’t perfect, it’s definitely the more ethical choice compared to genuine leather. Its drawbacks are still a subject of debate but we know that technology leads to many leather alternatives - leather-like materials that are not only cruelty-free but eco-friendly. It won’t be long before newer faux leather materials come out and they’ll be better than what’s out there.