Vegan Leather vs Real Leather
Do you know what veganism is? What do vegans do? Why are they following very restricted food habits? Back then, people barely heard of veganism. However, these days, you can learn about it everywhere you go. In fact, it is pretty widespread currently. Every day, millions of people are adopting this lifestyle and become vegan. If you want to know about vegans and veganism, you are in a good place.
Many years ago, people realized that it is unethical to eat animals' meat. This realization resulted from decades of studies showing that animals can feel pain just like humans do. They need to enjoy their life as humans do.
In fact, there is no difference between them and us. That's why many people consider eating animals ferocious and stopped doing that. They believed that no animal must be killed for the sake of producing people's food. So, a new movement started, which is known as vegetarianism.
Vegetarianism wasn’t enough, I'm afraid. Animals were still suffering from their awful situation on the farms. They were lept not just because of their meat. Still, millions of people eat animal-related products such as eggs, dairy, use skin products, etc.
That's why every day, millions of cows, pigs, sheep, etc., were tortured and killed to feed humans' hunger. This needed to be stopped. After a while, a more restricted lifestyle started appearing.
It was known as veganism. Vegans were those who were following the regulations of veganism. Do you know the benefits of veganism for you and the society you are living in? Do you know what the boundaries of veganism are? How can we call somebody a vegan? Don’t worry well will get back to these questions. And, why are experts suggesting that everyone should become a vegan?
As you can see, in this article, we will first learn about vegans and veganism. Then, we will tell you why everyone should join veganism. After that, we will see that veganism is not only about not eating animals' meat and animal-related products.
We will learn that veganism is something more compelling than just your food habits. Finally, we will compare vegan products and normal products and convince you to go for vegan ones. Let's get started. We have to start with absolute basics. What is veganism? And who is a vegan?
What Is Veganism?
We said about vegetarianism. We know that vegetarians don’t eat meat because there are many disadvantages associated with it. We will talk about them a bit later. However, they are still eating animal products such as eggs, dairy, etc.
Also, they don’t care whether animals are still killed because of the fashion industry. Veganism was created to stop this madness. Veganism includes everything that exploits animals' rights, whether it is for food or the fashion industry.
Vegans don’t eat anything coming from animals. It includes not only meat but also other products like fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey, etc. as well. In addition to this, vegans are against the fashion industry because it lets animals suffer for the sake of producing beautiful clothing items. However, let's forget about animals for a second.
The fashion industry is practically running our planet. This industry is responsible for polluting water and the environment. Also, it consumes lots of water and other resources. Moreover, it exploits the labour force by paying meagre salaries. On the other hand, there are many benefits associated with the vegan fashion industry. We are going to mention them now.
Sustainable Vegan Textiles
Vegans are familiar with the flax plant. Linen is made out of the seed of this plant. It is one of the most sustainable options we have. This plant is grown in Japan and some countries in Europe.
This is another important material usually found in marginal land not taking productivity of farm food crops.
Soymilk And Peace Silk
These materials can be made right after harvesting the plant soy. There is too much leftover in the field you can use for creating nice clothes.
Leather, Why Is It So Popular?
Leather clothes are among the most expensive ones. When you see that somebody is wearing a nice leather jacket or skirt, you automatically consider that person attractive and good-looking. Where does leather come from? Does it lead to animals suffering? And, why do we need to start using vegan leather instead of normal/real lather?
Let me be frank with you. Animals are abused and then killed for their skins. These skins are tuned into the black leather jacket or brown tight pants. The situation of leather production is awful right now because it is responsible for killing millions of animals every day to meet the demands. Here are some important statistics you might want to know about real leather production.
- Obviously, leather comes from animal skins, including cows, goats, buffalo, and other creatures such as snakes and alligators.
- Leather is considered a byproduct when animals become useless in the meat and dairy industries.
- Leather is not produced everywhere. In fact, it is concentrated in only six countries, including China, Italy, India, Brazil, Korea, and Russia.
- Processing leather might happen somewhere different from the abovementioned countries.
- China has been dominating the market for the last couple of decades, and nearly 80% of leather in the world is produced there.
- According to several studies, more than 60% of leather products have been from cows. Also, nearly 15% of leather products come from buffalos. Only 10% goes to pigs, with the rest corresponding to goats and other animals.
Products from the vegan fashion industry have been produced sustainably. Do you know what these products are? If you don't know, please, don’t miss the current section. Here, I will explain some of the most common vegan products and materials.
There are lots of health problems associated with normal cotton plants in agricultural farms. So, to keep them safe, you have to use too many synthetic chemicals, which might be very dangerous for people's health. Additionally, with a normal cotton plantation, there are lots of other socioeconomic issues.
For example, child labour is a global problem in cotton plantations. Moreover, farmers usually use GM (genetically modified) cotton to yield more products. However, the seeds of GM cotton are much more expensive, which makes cotton plantations without any benefits for farmers. Vegan fashion only uses organic cotton, which doesn’t have the abovementioned obstacles.
Lyocell And Modal
Lyocell and Modal are two other types of vegan materials. These two materials are produced from wood pulp. They are ubiquitous because of several reasons. First of all, there is no trace of dangerous solvents in them. And, second of all, the chemicals used in the process of these materials have been used so many times.
These materials are generally produced in North America and Europe to ensure nature is not going to be destroyed anymore. Unfortunately, China and Indonesia have been responsible for the clear-cutting rainforest to produce Modal. This has been on the decline over the past few years.
The same is true with Tencel. It is produced from wood pulp and is not destructive to nature. A very efficient source for Tencel is Bamboo because this plant grows very fast and can be replaced by new ones.
This is another practical vegan product in the market. It is especially great for adsorbing up to 20% of its weight in moisture before it feels wet. Additionally, linen is much easier to dry compared with other animal-related materials such as wool. This causes you to feel cool when you wear a cloth made from linen.
Moreover, compared with other plants in the market, there are many advantages associated with linen. First of all, linen is much harder to get cultivated. I mean, you don’t need to apply too many dangerous pesticides and fertilizers. Also, if you are allergic to different materials, you can be sure that you don’t get hurt by linen because it is completely non-allergenic.
This is one of the healthiest vegan materials in the market. In particular, there is a brand called SeaCell with lots of advantages for your health. This product is made out of one specific type of seaweed called brown algae. First of all, it is very active in regenerating cells and can re-mineralize the skin.
Also, it has an anti-inflammatory impact on the body. Moreover, it is perfect for athletes because it has a detoxifying effect and helps people get rid of all bad compounds in their bodies. Thanks to SeaCell textile fibres, intaking and releasing humidity is greatly promoted. So, clothing items made from seaweed are great for both summer and winter.
Beech Tree Fibres
If you are looking for a good substitution for silk, you have to pay attention to this section. The fibre of beech trees is the main source for modal, which is a kind of rayon. We talked about modal earlier. People usually call rayon and similar materials “natural-synthetic” because they come from a natural source. The good thing about the modal is that it is soft and smooth.
Also, you can dye it very easily, so it is a good option for people in the fashion business that want to come up with creative and new colour patterns. And, this is another interesting point about modal which could save electricity. In contrast to silk, you don’t need to take out the iron every time you wash it. Also, it is very durable even after several rounds of washing.
There are several amazing features about hemp which make it great for vegan fashion production. First of all, hemp is a plant with the least amount of pesticides needed. So, you are not going to pollute soil and water. Second of all, the roots of hemp can get as long as 3 feet.
It basically means that soil will be protected, and runoff will be avoided. It doesn’t harm the environment either because it is biodegradable. Moreover, it has anti-bacterial characteristics too because it doesn’t trap the heat and help the breathability of clothing items.
Finally, soybean is often called “vegetable cashmere.” It is made out of soybean processing. It is similar to silk, cotton, and cashmere, considering its softness, durability, and comfort, respectively. It is biodegradable too.
Benefits Of The Vegan Fashion Industry
Vegans are not only looking to protect animals' rights. They are also considering the environment and humans as well. Here, I will explain all the benefits of the vegan fashion industry.
The Vegan Fashion Industry Is Ethical
Vegans have decided to stop killing animals because they believe animals must enjoy their lives as well. They need to spend time with their families and be free to explore the world. With the vegan fashion industry, you can be sure that you are not participating in animal cruelty. When you don’t buy clothing items from animal products, you will stop the killing of millions of animals every day because of their skin and other products.
Vegan Materials Look Great
Another reason to join the vegan fashion industry is that you can wear lovely and beautiful clothing items. Vegan alternatives are tough to be identified. The difference between vegan and normal materials is so delicate that only experts can say which one is vegan and which is normal. So, if you got used to your older look when you used to wear normal clothes, you can rest assured that no one will see if you have changed your style.
Vegan Materials Are Easier To Work With
in the normal fashion industry, you have to process animal products before sending them to market. Vegan materials are better in this aspect as well. Do you know why? Because they are much more malleable than normal materials coming from animals. Let me explain what I mean by that.
You have to colour and tone vegan materials before using them in the vegan fashion industry. Compared with normal materials, vegan materials are much easier to handle by producing cloth materials. The range of colours you can use in vegan materials is more than normal ones. Also, colours can be adsorbed by the vegan materials much easier.
Vegan Fashion Is Economically A Better Option
Clothes made from vegan materials are more durable. So, it is good for you because you don’t need to think about changing them every several months.
Vegan Materials Are Eco-Friendlier
The vegan fashion industry doesn’t consume water, energy, and other resources as much as the current fashion industry. Did you know that you have to use more than 2500 litres of water to produce one normal T-shirt? Did you know that electricity and other energy sources are being wasted in the current fashion industry? All these things need to change. And, the vegan fashion industry is just the starting point for consuming less and using resources eco-friendlily.
Vegan Leather vs Real Leather
Well, you might be wondering how vegan leather could be better than real leather? I am going to explain now. I guess the best way to approach this here is to answer some relevant questions.
Where Does Leather Come From?
First, we should see where vegan leather is coming from. Vegan leather is the product of two different plastic polymers, including polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In addition to these synthetic materials, vegan leather can be produced from natural resources such as pineapple leaves, cork, and apple peels.
Can Vegan Leather Mimic The Real Leather?
The answer is YES! vegan leather is a good competitor of real leather. Many people and designers in the fashion industry prefer vegan leather products. In fact, except for professional fashion experts, ordinary people usually don’t know the difference between real and vegan leather. However, some other experts believe that it is much better to use real leather for accessories still. Or, to minimize casualties, companies must use a mix of real and vegan for accessories.
Which One Is More Sustainable Vegan Or Real Leather?
This is another important question. To answer this question, we need to know how vegan leather is produced. As you know, vegan leather can be produced from different materials. Accordingly, the manufacturing process will be different. For example, there are some concerns when you try to produce vegan leather from artificial products such as plastics.
For example, vegan leather from plastic will be responsible for releasing toxic chemicals and staying for hundreds of years in nature, causing threats to animals and plants. However, in general, it is estimated that the negative impacts of producing vegan leather on earth are 30% less than normal leather. This is reasonable considering the livestock sector as the world's most contributor in destroying natural landscape for the sake of grazing and producing more food for feeding them.
Another point about real leather, which is dangerous for the environment, is the tanning process. You have to consume lots of energy and use too many hazardous chemicals to turn the real leather into wearable. Also, several heavy metals are used in the tanning process, which will add to your problem. The next problem will happen if these chemicals open their ways into the water. However, with vegan leather, you won't have any of these problems. So, even when you don’t like vegan leather, it is better to use vegetable-tanned leather.
What If The Real Leather Is A By-Product?
This is another interesting question to ask. Is wearing normal leather still unethical if it is coming as a by-product of the meat industry? Some people argue that to have a sustainable lifestyle, we have to use all our opportunities. When we kill animals for our food needs, their skin and fur will be wasted if we don’t use them. Some others, however, say that this is not a good justification and animals should not be killed either for food or the fashion industry. So, again, vegan leather is a better option since it is much more ethical than the real one.
Here are some other points comparing vegan and real leather. You can expand the list as you wish.
- For many people, vegan leather is much thinner than real leather. It means that you feel more comfortable wearing them. In particular, if your daily routine includes high physical activities and you want to be cold or warm enough throughout the year, vegan products are more suitable.
- One of the main problems of our world is the culture of consuming more every day. With vegan leather, you will stop against this. Definitely, vegan leather is more durable than normal leather and can be worn for decades.
- Vegan leather is also cheaper than real leather. This is mainly because the process of making real leather products requires extremely well-skilled people who receive lots of money in exchange for producing clothing items and accessories from normal leather materials.
- Vegan leather is waterproof. There are good and bad sides to it. The good thing is that you can wash and clean it more efficiently. You don’t need to waste too much detergent and water over it. However, the bad side is that it will crack sooner if the vegan leather hasn’t been produced well.
- Stretching vegan leather could cause cracking. So, concerning these features, normal leather is a better choice.
- Softening and dying vegan leather is eco-friendlier than the normal one. You have several options for vegan leather, which are not available for normal leather.
In this article, we first talked about the importance of vegetarianism and veganism. We explained that veganism is not only about stopping eating meat and animal-related foods. In fact, veganism is a lifestyle that includes our fashion choices too. In fact, as a vegan, you are obligated not to wear clothes coming from animal skins which include fur, silk, and leather.
Unfortunately, leather coming from animal skins is very popular. However, vegan leather is the best option available for people to respect animals' rights. Here, we compared vegan and normal leather and concluded that vegan leather is a better option concerning our health, protecting natural resources, and having a more sustainable lifestyle.
I trust you enjoyed reading the article about Vegan Leather vs Real Leather. Would you please stay tuned? There are more blog posts to come very shortly.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Would you mind leaving me your questions, experience and remarks about Vegan Leather vs Real Leather in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.