leather goods manufacturing

what is a vegan leather

What is a vegan leather? Everyone speaks about fake, faux, synthetic, eco and sustainable materials. It’s time to focus on these critical issues and the term vegan leather because Luxuryleather is an Italian leather goods manufacturer that uses many different materials and sources in the manufacturing process. 

From animal origin to no animal origin, Luxuryleather Italy uses only the best and most sustainable leather. We make bags and small leather goods in real, sustainable leather (all our skins have LWG certification) and vegan leather products, mainly from cactus or apple sources.

vegan leather vs faux leather
Cactus vegan bag made by Luxury Leather.

WHAT IS A VEGAN LEATHER MADE OF?

Let’s clarify that vegan or faux leather is an original product that contains no animal skin or hides. Vegan leather is an artificial leather-like material called PVC. Nowadays, most designers and fashion brands, such as the brilliant Stella McCartney, prefer to use fake leather or vegan materials to make their collections instead of genuine leather to protect animal species. 

These include synthetic leather, which is essentially a form of plastic. Indeed, faux leather, or leatherette, is made from a base material coated with polyurethane or PVC. On the other hand, vegan leather is not made from animal products. It can be made from various materials, such as pineapple leaves, cork, cactus, and mushroom mycelium.

what is faux leather

REAL LEATHER FROM ANIMAL KILLED?

Now, I am obliged to clarify another fake news or crucial concept. Nobody kills animals for the fashion or tanning industry. The animals are either killed for their meat, or they die to serve the purpose of humans. Thanks to the tanning industry, their skin is collected, assembled, and given a new life.

Tanneries recycle and transform a product that would otherwise be wasted or burned with all the consequences for our world. We need to clarify this concept once and for all: no one kills animals to have their skin used in fashion. On the contrary, this product is recycled thanks to the tanning industry. I hope this point is now clear and well-established.

genuine leather
Real leather bag made by Luxury Leather

FAUX LEATHER OR VEGAN LEATHER?

Recently, this phenomenon has been a very requested leitmotiv in the fashion industry owing to a new sustainability concept era that is beginning every day. It is very curious but true. Today at our Italian factory, we have a lot of requests about the production of vegan bags, but most of our customers have no idea or don’t know what vegan or faux leather is. Thus, it is no accident that I often meet by zoom many designers who ask me the same questions:

  1. How is vegan leather made? 
  2. Is there an environmental impact? 
  3. Is it a sustainable material?
  4. Is it an excellent alternative to traditional leather?
  5. Is it a natural product?
  6. Is it less durable than leather production?
  7. Is vegan leather durable?

You will find all replies to the questions above in the following paragraphs.

IS VEGAN LEATHER PLASTIC?

Of course, because they have a lot of plastic elements in their composition. As a prestigious and famous leather goods manufacturer, we have many requests about this material, but few know what we are discussing. So my humble advice is simple: before choosing a different or innovative source, please study carefully. Today, we must be conscious about the products we use and produce and make informed choices regarding our fashion and lifestyle.

Our bag manufacturer is part of a MADE IN ITALY system, and we should inform our customers. Many people use terms such as vegan leather and faux interchangeably, but the truth is that they refer to two different things, both made of plastic elements.

faux leather and vegan leather

WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FAUX LEATHER?

Let’s focus our attention on SYNTHETIC materials. Unfortunately, today, the most popular material is “plastic vegan leather,” which means the famous PVC and PU leather. They call them different types of vegan leather or vegan alternatives, but they are just plastic products.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is, without mincing words, PLASTIC; hence, we can imagine how hard it is to recycle this product. Moreover, PVC is not sustainable, is made from fossil fuels, and has received much environmental criticism. 

is vegan leather real leather

There is no need to explain the damage a plastic product, such as plastic bottles or coating, creates. I know you are a bit surprised, but that’s true. PVC is 100% toxic and made from plastic-based materials with heavy metals, a final product with a negative impact.

The most dangerous scenario in PVC is the presence of DIOXINS in high quantity, a highly toxic element, and poisonous chemicals. I apologize, but PVC and PU are PLASTIC FAKE LEATHER or POLYURETHANE LEATHER. After having all this info, I have a question for you. Do you realize that VEGAN LEATHER and, above all, PVC and PV are 100% toxic?

what is a vegan leather
Rabel made in Italy by Luxury Leather

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAUX LEATHER AND VEGAN LEATHER?

Difference between faux leather and vegan leather: faux leather is a synthetic material that imitates real leather. It combines polyurethane and PVC, creating a durable and cost-effective alternative. It is commonly used in clothing, furniture, and accessories. Vegan leather is made from organic materials like apples, cactus, and pineapple and contains no animal products.  The two products described are “plastic vegan leather” and “free plastic vegan leather,” which are new terms used to convince consumers.

PLASTIC VEGAN LEATHER

Plastic vegan leather is the famous PVC and PU we have already banned, such as dioxin or 100% plastic; I don’t know which of the best words I have to use, but it is clear. It is also called synthetic or artificial leather. It is designed to mimic real leather’s look and feel at a lower price. Such a synthetic material relies on the extraction and processing of petroleum-based products. This contributes to carbon emissions, air pollution, and dependence on non-renewable resources.

FREE PLASTIC VEGAN LEATHER

It is not made from animal products but from various plant-based materials such as cactusapple, mushroom, or pineapple. The fibres extracted from the leaves are pressed or ground to produce a fine powder, depending on the material used. It is important to consider the energy and water requirements of the production processes and other aspects.

For example, how is such powder folded or coupled on a textile support? Surely, using chemical products or particular glues that aren’t 100% ecologic but part of the chemical industry 😔.

VEGAN LEATHER DEFINITION? IMITATION LEATHER

Both vegan leather and free plastic are unsustainable products with a significant environmental impact. Regrettably, this information is not widely known. Natural vegan leather is less toxic than plastic leather (PVC, PU) because it contains more natural elements and fewer plastic or chemical products. However, natural vegan leather is still a toxic product.

Several luxury brands have recently launched collections featuring new types of vegan leather. While they strive to be innovative, they know these materials do not necessarily result in a fully sustainable final product. Few people spread these hidden truths, and even the media’s message is nonexistent. We prefer to condemn the tanning industry, spreading fake news that animals are killed for their skins. But all this is false.

is vegan leather plastic

WHAT VEGAN LEATHER

Choosing a vegan lifestyle is more than just a trend; it’s a conscious decision to abstain from consuming anything with animal products, origins, or cruelty. We deeply respect and value these choices as a company, so we are committed to providing vegan and sustainable fashion products.

Over the past few years, we’ve received numerous requests for vegan products at our Italian factory. We want to reiterate our commitment to sustainability by clarifying that we do not use plastic materials. Instead, we source our materials sustainably. Therefore, we kindly ask you not to request bags or leather garments made from PVCPU, or other synthetic sources, as we are dedicated to being a sustainable fashion factory.

vegan leather definition

WHAT IS A VEGAN LEATHER MADE FROM?

There’s a lot of buzz around vegan leather, and getting lost in the jargon is easy. Terms like natural, ecology, PU, and PVC are often confusing. In this post, we aimed to demystify these terms and provide clear guidelines for new designers and established companies, helping them confidently navigate the world of vegan leather.

At our company, we understand that choosing the right materials for your bags or collection is a crucial step towards sustainability. That’s why we don’t just offer a variety of materials, including genuine leather, synthetic, or natural options. We also provide expert guidance to new designers, helping them make the most sustainable choices for their designs.

Luxury&leather Italy.
vegan leather bags
BEMENTI is a vegan brand made by Luxuryleather.

VEGAN LEATHER VS REAL LEATHER?

Synthetic materials are today an OPTION, a fake option, not a natural reply, as it should be genuine vegetable leather, a vegetable-tanned leather that, even if it comes from an animal, is 100% SUSTAINABLE. Honestly, I think if you are reading this post, it means you felt conscious of the situation. The production of vegan leather will go a long way.

Vegan leather is your answer if you need an alternative to animal origin. Today, Luxuryleather offers different kinds of free plastic leather hides; the only problem is that these products are not cheap and have some restrictions or problems during manufacturing.

For instance, genuine leather tends to age better than vegan leather. The texture of natural leather is also much softer than vegan leather. Additionally, real leather provides more opportunities for tanning processes, unlike faux leather, where we cannot make different refinishing and must keep its basic style.

vegan leather vs real leather

VEGAN LEATHER VS FAUX LEATHER, TYPES OF PLASTIC.

Research into environmental sustainability is becoming a prerogative for global companies like Luxuryleather. We prefer to inform our new customers about the best materials. SUSTAINABLE is everywhere today. In any case, we must try to spread this philosophy cause we have to protect our planet, and I am sure you will make the right choice depending on your values.

It is up to you now: Plastic leather, Free Plastic leather, or Real Leather. If you are looking for a permanent concept in your leather collection that must offer more guarantees, we suggest you opt for animal-origin or genuine leather in natural tannins and not plastic vegan leather.

It doesn’t mean we are obsolete or aged. On the contrary, we respect and follow customers’ indications, but it is clear that genuine leather guarantees:

  • Durabilitynaturalness and resistance
  • Natural resources are of good quality and in good condition.
  • It feels a soft and natural touch.
  • Better refinishing and quality during the production process.
On a typical day in our tannery, we make leather for garments, bags and shoes.

WHICH ARE THE MOST COMMONLY USED MATERIALS?

Thanks to our Italian tanneries or Italian tanning system in the leather industry, targets are achieved. Indeed, in our country, the tanning process, methods, and refinishing have reached very high standards, and no harmful chemicals have been used. We can honestly say that today, Italy is a leader in the tanning process, with several solutions to improve animal welfare and human health.

The only waste product is animal skin, and thanks to our TANNERIES, we can recycle these materials, transforming the by-product of the meat industry. HONESTLY, animals such as sheep, lamb, or goats are killed for the food industry, not just the leather industry. Please note that all skins produced by Luxury Leather have LWG Certification from pickled origin to the final product. 

what is a vegan leather
What is a vegan leather?

WHAT IS THE VEGAN LEATHER?

In conclusion, vegan leather and faux leather are two distinct alternatives to animal leather. They serve different purposes and cater to different values. Our Italian factory undoubtedly offers vegan alternatives, such as plant-based leather from pineapple leaves, cactus, apples, and real leather products tanned in a vegetable process.

Take a moment to explore our portfolio. It’s a testament to how we can enhance your brand’s image. As a bonus, you’ll glimpse the vegan bags and products we’ve crafted for other esteemed brands and companies, all available for your inspiration. In this section, you can see bags made of real leather or vegan ones for our luxury partners.

what is vegan leather made from
vegan leather jacket.

CHOOSING LEATHER ALTERNATIVES WISELY

When choosing between vegan, faux, or real leather, crucial factors such as animal welfare, sustainability, price, and aesthetics should be confidently considered. When deciding on materials, it is essential to consider each option’s manufacturing process, environmental impact, and care requirements.

Our final advice about your choice is to take all the time you need and remember that we are here to make your best bags based on your selected materials. Our Italian factory commonly uses only FREE vegan leather plastic or plant-based materials. We are apprehensive about environmental concerns, and a better world means better lives, which is a priority to follow. Feel free to contact our office for more information by sending an email to:

news@luxuryleather.it