Despite the damage it does to our planet, leather is all the rage, and has been for decades – it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Perhaps that’s why designers and luxury brands are trying to find more durable alternatives to the beauty and elegance of leather.
Vegan handbags and clothing are now making their way into leading fashion lines for their eco-friendly and affordable features. However, many remain confused about the manufacturing, process and benefits of vegan bags.
Vegan Handbags – The Process
There are now many raw materials from which vegan bags can be made – cork, pineapple leaves, apple peels, recycled plastic, other fruit waste and, of course, polyurethane. The processes, depending on the source material, are distinct and yet easy to perform.
For example, in the case of pineapple leaves or apple peels (food waste category), the material is degummed and made into a luxury mesh material similar to felt in feel and feel. Synthetic leather, on the other hand, is made by bonding a plastic covering to a fabric backing; processes vary and determine whether the leather is environmentally friendly.
Polyurethane is considered a slightly less harmful plastic and is constantly being developed to reduce defects such as the dangerous release of toxins during the manufacturing process. Generally, PU handbags are made using fossil fuels.
A conscious purchase with environmental benefits
Since the pandemic, consumers are making more conscious decisions about their purchases. They are eager to learn about the history, present and impact of the products they add to their collections. Fashion enthusiasts are not excluded from these efforts either.
Popular designers like Stella McCartney, Angela and Roi (from AngelaRoi), Moenn and many more are adapting to vegan designs. The vegan leather market is expected to reach US$85 billion by 2025 due to recent reports. This indicates that more and more buyers are currently switching from genuine leather to faux leather, promising a new trend in the fashion world.
To voluntarily help protect the environmental impact of leather, people need to know how vegan alternatives are better suited. Leather is seen by many as a by-product of the meat industry – simply put, this is what we call ‘collateral damage’. And while the argument may seem logical, there’s a lot to consider from an economic perspective.
Take cows, for example, it’s remarkable but terrifying how industry has severely exploited multiple uses for a single animal – milk, meat, skin, horns. However, when a business enjoys multiple streams of profits, it is considered diversification and not a by-product. Whether the leather industry contributes to these profit streams by 1%, 5%, or 20% seems to be enough to pursue, ultimately leading to more slaughter and horror.
Vegan bags are cruelty-free
The other animals slaughtered for leather, the ones we don’t particularly eat, are a by-product of direct motivation that lies outside the idea of co-product. Overall, the environment is destined to bleed if genuine leather remains in production, whether it’s from carcinogenic chemicals being used and transferred to our bodies, horrible conditions for industry employees, or harmful toxins. expelled during production. Thus, the emerging trend for vegan handbags, clothing, accessories and more.
Not only are vegan handbags cruelty-free and durable, but if cared for effectively, they’re long-lasting, and most importantly, they won’t burn a big enough hole in your pocket (as opposed to genuine leather).
It will be interesting to live in a time when fashion experts make genuine leather obsolete and last season as they say. And vegan leather is our only saving grace if that should happen. So if you want to flaunt a fashion-forward accessory or bag in front of your friends, at least you’ll know you’re saving the environment while you’re at it.
(Naina Parekh is the co-founder of EUME)