What is Vegan Leather Made of? Here is Everything you Need to Know

What is Vegan Leather Made of? Here is Everything you Need to Know

Fashion trends are volatile and change according to the seasons. Leather material, on the other hand, is ageless which is why it is preferred widely, and appeals to all aesthetic tastes.

However, with people now looking for ethical ways and sustainable practices, they believe that it should have been abandoned.

Traditional leather, while valued for its durability and appealing look, is said to be very harsh. However, before you abandon traditional leather, have a look at some of the new designs by different sustainable brands in the fashion industry.

To promote sustainable product and ethical practices, many brands have started using vegan leather as an alternative to traditional leather.

In simple words, we can describe vegan leather as a type of leather that doesn’t involve animals in any way.

Instead of that, you can make it from cork, bamboo, recycled plastics, and other natural materials such as mushrooms, and pineapples.

Today, vegan leather is widely used in making a variety of products including everyone’s favorite leather jackets. This article discusses vegan leather, what is vegan leather made of, its advantages, sustainability, and its comparison with its traditional form.

What exactly is Vegan leather?

Vegan leather is a type of leather that does not include any animal components. However, sometimes it resembles actual leather so closely that many people wonder if it is vegan leather or real leather.

Although it looks highly authentic and real, it is free from any animal product. You can use inventive and sustainable materials in the manufacturing of vegan leather, for example, reused plastic.

Another form of this leather is made using polyurethane polymer. However, experts recommend that you should properly check the tags mentioned on the products before purchasing them.

In current times, many people say that vegan leather is a better and safer alternative to actual leather. They believe that the use of real leather must be stopped if you want to make the earth a better place.

What is the Composition of Vegan leather?

Since it is the alternative to real leather, many people are confused about what is vegan leather made of. Although you will find its appearance, feel, and behavior of animal leather, it is made of synthetic or natural materials such as:


  • Polyurethane (PU Leather)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Plant-based materials such as fruits and vegetables (pineapple)
  • Plant-derived byproducts (Pinatex, cork)

In any case, vegan leather items can only be called vegan if they are created without the use of animal products.

This comprises animal skin and glues that may be used to keep items together. Vegan purses, wallets, belts, and shoes are examples of popular items made of this leather.

These items are frequently less costly than those manufactured using actual leather. However, you might require proper maintenance of vegan leather products just like any other product. This involves correct storage, routine cleaning, and occasional polish.

What are the Advantages of Vegan Leather?

To begin with, it is clear that this leather is better for animals. Because it is made from sources that don’t involve animals in any way, they aren’t harmed in its manufacturing process.

Furthermore, a very low carbon dioxide is discharged by this leather. All over the world, we know that cattle farming emits massive amounts of carbon footprint. Furthermore, vegan leather made from polyurethane has fewer harmful compounds. Toxic chemicals such as chromium are used in the tanning of animal leather.

Just to mention that it also produces hydrogen sulfide. However, PU leather is often regarded as environmentally safe and non-toxic.

Comparing Vegan leather with other leather forms:

Vegan leather vs genuine leather, Is vegan leather real?

Vegan Leather vs. Genuine Leather: Is Vegan Leather Real Leather?

After knowing what is vegan leather made of, you might be thinking about whether it is really a viable option. Due to the harmful environmental impacts of PVC, some people still consider original leather.

And since we purchase leather products for once, they believe getting genuine leather is a better choice. Regardless of that, this leather is better than actual leather just because it is made of natural products.

Although, it might also depend on the kind of PVC you buy. But if you search carefully, you may discover PVC goods that are built to a very high level and are really durable. With that being said, real leather material remains popular since there isn’t exactly any material like it.

Aside from the fact that it originates from an animal, real leather is highly expensive to create and comes with a few environmental difficulties.

Vegan vs. Faux Leather: Are both terms similar?

Vegan leather and faux leather are basically identical. Vegan leather is also known as pleather, plastic leather, and faux leather. But there is a slight difference between them which you must know.

Faux leather doesn’t involve the use of animal hides. In contrast to that, vegan leather can be made through synthetic materials such as polymers. Faux leather, pleather, and vegan leather are frequently used in the same way. But pleather is specifically made from plastic.

How to Clean Vegan Leather?

Because it has a very high plastic content, this leather is rather easy to clean. Unfortunately, it can get damaged easily, therefore it is critical that you clean and maintain it correctly.

You can remove stains, grime, or dust from this leather by using a wet cloth and gentle wiping. Warm water should help you clean vegan leather products without destroying them if the dirt has hardened.

If your vegan leather is rougher, a soft brush can assist you in cleaning while still maintaining the product. To remove difficult stains, dilute some soap in warm water or use a small amount of essential oil in it.

This leather is far more brittle than genuine leather. Abrasive products, such as hard or brushes made of heavy metals, are not recommended. Strong cleaning agents will almost certainly destroy your vegan leather goods.

What is Veg Tan Leather?

Veg-tanned leather is a form of leather that is dyed with natural colors rather than possibly toxic chemicals. This sort of leather is distinguished by its appearance. Veg tanning has been used for thousands of years to tan animal hides.

For years, it was the only technique to process hide, and its appeal comes from the fact that it made leather both beautiful and durable.

Is Vegan Leather Water Resistant?

This leather is waterproof, although depending on the type of the product, some react better to water than others. A vegan leather jacket, for example, will have an additional waterproof layer.

However, many handbags aren’t made identically, so even if they are waterproof, you should avoid water contact. Remember to always keep vegan leather items air dry.

Is this Leather Environmentally Friendly?

After knowing what is vegan leather made of, and also knowing about the fact that what makes a product sustainable, you’re undoubtedly thinking about whether it is eco-friendly and good for the environment. Unfortunately, the answer is no when it comes to PVC. Because PVC is formed of plastic, it has the same issue as all other plastic items.

The first difficulty is the quantity of energy and toxic chemicals required to generate. When PVC is manufactured, hazardous dioxins are released. It is also treated with phthalates, which are toxins.

These phthalates are harmful not just to animals but also to people. As its biodegradability is concerned, PVC faces the same problems as all other polymers. But with new technologies, brands are ensuring to make PVC sustainable.

These substitutes are not biodegradable, but they are intended to last as long as genuine leather. When it comes to accessories, though, seeking vegan leather that isn’t PVC is the most environmentally friendly option.

Top Brands to Look for

When you talk about vegan leather brands, the first name that might come to your mind should be Abercrombie & Fitch. The Abercrombie vegan leather pants are very popular all over the world. Other brands which have vegan products in their category include, Stella McCartney, Matt & Nat, Nae vegan shoes and Corkor.


The conclusion here is that vegan leathers provide a solution to an unquestionably destructive leather industry. Not only animals, but vegan leather also has a safety factor also to our environment. With so many alternatives to animal leather, we should surely be wearing natural resources more regularly.

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