The adoption of veganism in the world would be according to a study made by James Poore, the single way to reduce our environmental impact, lowering an individual’s carbon footprint by 73%. So, if a vegan diet is less harmful to our environment than one that contains meat, should we adopt the same approach with fashion?
In response to the high demand for fashion consumption, many brands are looking to introduce vegan alternatives in their collections. Are these materials actually better for our environment?
When we talk about vegan leather, it is stated to be a material that mimics leather but is created from artificial or plant products. Most of them are made from two different plastic polymers; polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Also, vegan leather can be made out of recycled plastic and natural resources, like fruits.
Thanks to their wrinkled texture, vegan leather products can be nowadays so well-made that they can often be mistaken for the real one. Does this mean that vegan leather is more sustainable than real leather? It depends on its raw properties and production.
When created with artificial products, sustainability issues arise. Despite vegan alternatives being thought to have a lower impact on the environment, what happens when it's made from plastic? Leather alternatives made from plastic take years to degrade and releases toxic chemicals into the environment.
When brands use sustainable terms to appear more eco-friendly, we need to be aware and investigate which material they are using and how it is processed.
So we want to feature these three brands, which are a great example of the potential of using vegan-leather alternatives without compromising on neither style, not the environment!
The brand strongly believes that veganism is a vehicle for change. It is the key to reducing CO2 emissions, saving water respecting the life of other living beings. Their aim is to make biodegradable sneakers, using materials developed by theirselves such as corn, bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, grown only with water (no pesticides), and natural rubber extracted in a sustainable way from the Hevea brasiliensis tree.
The Canadian brand deeply cares about the welfare of the planet. A variety of high-quality vegan materials are used in the creation of their products, like PU (polyurethane), a biodegradable material. Also, all of their linings are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. These pieces are not made to last a season but are intended to be a part of your wardrobe for many years.
The Italian brand combines fashion with sustainability. Italian craftsmanship, and respect for the environment and people. Womsh uses Apple's skin to produce its leather imitation for their vegan shoes, an extremely special new material made of 50% apple fiber and 50% PU (Polyurethane). This type of sustainable alternative to leather is made from raw materials that are fully biodegradable.
The French company has a strong focus on transparency, fair trade, and social and environmental responsibility. VEJA uses C.W.L. to produce its leather imitation for their vegan shoes, made with organic cotton covered with resin from corn & castor oil.