Vegan fashion is in nowadays and buying animal-based products has become a hot topic. The fur industry is a frequent target of animal rights protesters, and even though leather clothing hasn’t been hit as hard people are still raising ethical questions about leather products.
That being said, vegan leather just isn’t the same as the real thing and your one-time authentic leather purchase will last you for years to come. So is buying leather clothing items really all that bad? You’re about to find out because in today’s blog we’re uncovering everything you need to know about leather sustainability.
Why Real Leather Is Controversial
While the average person doesn’t put too much thought into where their leather handbags, purses, jackets, and shoes come from, animal rights activists definitely do. Every single leather item does have to be made from a cow after all.
Activists’ main argument against leather is that animals are being killed for clothing. They have also flagged the chemical tanners used to soften leather and the greenhouse gas emissions that come from raising livestock as being an environmental concern.
Why Vegan Leather Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be
The increased scrutiny surrounding real leather goods has led to the fashion industry using vegan leather as an alternative. While the intention behind the vegan fashion movement comes from a good place, vegan leather definitely isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Vegan leather is man-made leather that contains no animal products. It is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PU (polyurethane), both of which need to undergo extensive chemical processes to make them as flexible as leather.The chemical treatments that these petroleum-based materials go through contribute to acid rain since ash, nitrogen, and carbon are released in the process.
In addition to releasing harmful chemicals, vegan leather is also anon-biodegradable plastic waste that will stay on the planet for hundreds of years after it’s disposed of. In essence, that faux leather coat you snagged for super cheap is going to end up costing the environment in the long run!
The Bigger Picture
Genuine leather is a reliable material that has been worn by humans for centuries. It’s pretty much impossible to replicate the real thing and vegan leather has a number of ethical issues in and of itself.
Here are a few reasons you should consider letting real leather back into your life:
Meat Is Already An Industry
Australians consume quite a lot of beef and since there is already a thriving meat industry, it would be wasteful to not make the most of what’s already there. In addition, the amount of waste that would be generated by throwing away skins simply isn’t worth the hassle!
Use Per Wear
If you use your leather clothing over and over again, it saves you a pretty penny and is also great for the environment. Leather is an incredibly durable material, which means if you care for it properly you can definitely get years of use out of it.
An Irreplaceable Heirloom
Leather jackets can be passed down through generations and carry a sentimental value with them that is irreplaceable. Aged leather also has a distinctive look that makes it full of personality. There’s nothing quite like throwing on your dad’s old biker jacket!
Nothing Can Compare
No alternative form of leather can compare to the real thing! Genuine leather is a highly sought-after material because of its insulating capacity, resistance to wear and tear, and overall aesthetic appeal.
There’s a reason that humans started using leather as a material in their clothing many moons ago, and even though it may not be necessary for survival anymore there’s no disputing the fact that it’s a great material. If you treat your leather goods with care and keep them in your closet for the foreseeable future, you can rest easy knowing you’ve made a sustainable fashion choice!