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Case in point: Vegan Leather

Claim: Vegan leather is an eco-friendly, cruelty-free alternative to the animal hide fabric.

vegan leather

What we found out:

    • The leather industry is completely dependent on animal slaughter. India provides 10 per cent of the global raw material required for leather goods.
    • From wallets to jackets to shoes and belts, leather everywhere in the fashion industry. As times changed world-views, an 'eco-friendly' alternative to leather took the world by storm.
    • Vegan leather (also known as faux leather) is usually made of polyvinyl chloride (you know it as PVC) or polyurethane
    • PVC has earned its infamy for producing high amounts of toxic chlorine and harmful dioxides. It does not decompose easily either. Greenpeace goes as far as calling it the "single most environmentally damaging type of plastic."  
    • Polyurethane is not as toxic as PVC. But, polyurethane is made from fossil fuels, another cause of concern for the environment.
    • It is also not biodegradable so the pretty jacket you wore may go out of fashion for good, but the material will stay in landfills for generations together.

Pros

Cruelty-Free

Vegan leather is vegan, and no animal skin or by-products are used for its manufacture.

Long-Lasting

It looks fashionable and unlike animal leather, does not age with a patina (a coloured layer formed on leather goods developed with the oil on your skin)

Cons

Plastic

Although faux leather does not create demand for animal hide, it creates a demand for synthetic polymers.

Toxic

The production of these materials emit harmful even toxic gases

Non-Biodegradable

Such leather is not biodegradable and is essentially plastic.

Cutting to the chase

This is a classic example of how vegan does not always equate to eco-friendly.

Alternatives

Where there's a problem, we come with a solution. Now, these alternatives may not look exactly like the leather material, but accessories that have a cruel past cannot be cool or chic in any case.

Made with natural jute and PU trimmings, this super spacious bag will fit everything you need and is ideal for short-distance trips!

These minimalist wallets are uber slim, yet spacious enough for all your needs and made of cork!

Another fantastic alternative is recycled rubber. Instead of sending it to the landfills, we’re turning them into bags, wallets!

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