Good news everyone, veganism is on the rise! And with that, vegan fashion, especially vegan leather, also is. I can’t begin to tell you how fuzzy it makes me feel when I see more and more people becoming aware of how small actions such as buying vegan sneakers can have the greatest of impact on our planet, the people and animals. Veganism is not only changing the way we eat, but it is also positively changing our shopping habits, and the sustainable fashion industry is also gaining some sweet sweet momentum.
Why Vegan Fashion
Several brands are now offering vegan leather as an alternative to the polluting animal skin leather we have been so used to wear. And these have come a long way in their quality, look, feel, and durability. Traditional leather and the dye used for its production wrecks havoc on our planet, polluting rivers, releasing toxic chemicals and hazardous waste in water streams and ecosystems. Animal leather doesn’t only damage the environment, but is also detrimental to the workers and people who live in the vicinity of leather tanneries. Harmful toxins released during production increase chances of cancer, respiratory problems and can cause deadly diseases. I warmly invite you to watch The True Cost on Netflix to learn more about the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry.
By switching to vegan leather shoes and fair fashion, you are supporting basic human rights, ethical treatment of animals and helping protect our one and only planet. It’s a win-win situation in every possible aspect. Here’s my vegan leather dance, you’re welcome:
How is Vegan Leather Made?
Vegan leather, also known as faux leather, is no longer the plastic-y affair it once was. Nowadays it can be made from a variety of different materials such as paper, cork, kelp, Piñatex (that’s pineapple!), Muskin, glazed cotton and waxed cotton, leatherette, and even apples! These materials create a cruelty-free fabric that is durable, and just as stylish as traditional leather – if that’s what you’re into.
Vegan clothing is now made by renowned designers and brands, and you can wear cruelty free vegan clothing, vegan purses, and enjoy many more vegan apparels. There are many more advantages too – vegan apparels are commonly more resistant to wears and tears, oftentimes waterproof (unlike traditional leather), eco-friendly, easy to maintain, have no gross leather smell, and are often handmade by small local shops.
Vegan Sneakers & Bags: My Vegan Leather Collection
This is my small and humble vegan leather collection.
The Metropolitan Backpack by Lee Coren is my go-to, stylish vegan leather backpack, serving as a super functional and lightweight bag I use for traveling, commuting to work, and being out and about. I think it looks so good and you would never know it’s vegan. Lee Coren is a fully vegan apparel brand. Everything is designed and produced locally in Israel and use entirely cruelty-free, sustainable materials. Lee Coren products are 100% committed to providing high-quality vegan fashion items and support fair working conditions from start to finish, and I am 100% into it.
You’ll find a huge variety of fully vegan sneakers, boots, shoes, bags and accessories over at Wills Vegan Shoes. Everything is registered with the Vegan Society and PETA-Approved. How bomb are these blue sneakers though? And beyond this fact, they are ethically-made in Portugal under European Union employment, discrimination and health & safety law, and super comfortable. I rest my case.
This handy bag is the ideal everyday backpack, the vegan leather is made from cork and each bag is designed beautifully and made to last, right where the sustainable cork is sourced – in Portugal. Cork is durable and easy to keep clean, and one of the most sustainable vegan leather out there, making it a great durable purchase.
The Drayton black tote is a sleek and versatile wardrobe staple for stylish weekend outings to the market – well, and more, obviously. It’s huge, and that’s really what she said. All products at Wilby are vegan and also PETA-approved, made in the UK, and super fashionable. They use organic and eco-friendly materials whenever possible, such as organic cotton and lining, recyclable cloth, eco-friendly backing and cork leather.
Ok, so I don’t own these YET because I’m currently negotiating a used pair on Kleiderkreisel, the German second-hand clothing marketplace. Have I said my new year resolution is to not buy anything new this year? Dr. Martens are a classic and they’ve expanded into vegan fashion with vegan leather shoes and bags. They are ethical and fashionable and will last for many years, thanks to the quality of vegan leather used in production. These are totes a must!