Vegan Leather


There’s no denying that leather occupies an exceptional place in fashion. So a nice-looking pair of vegan leather pants or a functional bag is a must for anyone looking to make their closet cruelty-free and more sustainable. This way, you can be confident in what you decide to wear and guilt-free about your purchase.

Vegan Leather Fabric

Vegan leather fabrics are essentially imitation leather. The benefit of choosing vegan leather is that it’s less costly to manufacture, which means its retail value is usually lower. On top of that, faux leathers do not contain animal products or products tested on animals. The ethical concerns surrounding fast fashion have caused brands like Burberry, Gucci, Versace, and Prada to ban fur in recent years.

The Truth About Vegan Leather

Vegan leather should not necessarily be thought of as an eco-friendly alternative to real leather. Most vegan and faux leathers are made of plastics containing synthetic polymers, which are derived from nonrenewable petrochemicals, i.e. crude oil and natural gases. At each phase of plastic’s lifecycle, from fossil fuel extraction and refining to manufacturing and use, and even end-of-life (incineration, recycling) greenhouse gases are generated because of these petrochemical ingredients. According to a study titled “Microfiber Release from Different Fabrics During Washing“, leathers made of synthetic plastics shed pollutants during wash and dry cycles. When plastic fabrics are exposed to physical stress, they release microfibers and greenhouse gases into the air and water.



Plant-Based Leather

The good news is that not all vegan leathers are made equal. Plant-based leathers are more environmentally friendly than conventional plastic leathers, and they’re vegan! Plant-based leather is made from repurposed plant material and agricultural wastes. If you’re interested in sustainable vegan leather, then make sure the fabric that you buy is manufactured from organic, renewable sources rather than synthetic plastics.

What Is Vegan Leather Made Of?

Vegan leather is often made from polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride. Polyurethane, sometimes abbreviated as PU, is a type of organic polymer composed of urethane (rubber) links. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), another popular synthetic plastic polymer, is made of polymerized vinyl chloride. Both PVC and PU leather are made to mimic the look and feel of real animal skin, but their properties are quite different. Authentic leather is thicker and heavier than faux leather and authentic leather is less prone to peeling and cracking over time, as it absorbs more moisture than faux leathers do.

Vegan Leather for Sale

If you’re interested in vegan leather products, consider shopping at Nordstrom, Target, Free People, or Urban Outfitters. When buying your faux leather, be sure to read the product label to find out what materials it’s made from. Finding a vegan product is not the same as finding a plant-based one. Vegan fabrics will not necessarily contain any animal-derived materials but may contain synthetic plastics, which can contribute to the build-up of pollutants in air and waterways. For more sustainable fashion, be sure that your purchases are made from renewable sources such as food waste, various crops, vegetable extracts, and or wood.


Plastic Pollution in the Arctic


ice in the Arctic ocean
Ice in the Arctic ocean

A study, “Plastic Pollution in the Arctic” reports that Arctic wildlife regularly ingest, become entangled in, or be smothered by plastic debris. Arctic species such as sculpin (Triglops nybelini), the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), and belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) have been found with plastic inside them. Plastic ingestion may even affect marine invertebrates like zooplankton in the eastern Canadian Arctic and the Fram Strait (a sea channel between Greenland and Svalbard).

Plastics from agriculture, landfills, dumping, industry, household products, fisheries, offshore industry, and other such sources are routinely carried to and within the Arctic by atmospheric and aquatic circulation systems. Transported plastics from local and distant sources are therefore highly distributed. The United Nations estimates that approximately 150 million tons of plastic debris may be scattered across the Arctic. Plastics are found on Arctic shores, in varying levels of the water column, in sea ice, and inside the bodies of marine biota.

Plastic Pollution

Circulation systems, including wind, ocean currents, and freshwater river flows, move plastic pollution through Arctic ecosystems, especially as they break down and fragment into smaller constituent pieces. The physical effects of global warming, then, influence the distribution of plastics and microplastics in the Arctic by increasing the frequency and or intensity of extreme weather events, like flooding and windstorms. Sea level rise or higher poleward wind speeds from global warming have the potential to transport greater levels of plastic debris to Arctic ecosystems.