“Why vegan leather is not as ethical as you think”. This time they provide a “forensic analysis” from the other side of the Channel, more specifically from the web page of fashion.ie. , an Irish blog fully dedicated to fashion. They assessed the good points in favour of “real” leather and the reasons why the “supposedly eco-leather” is not that “eco” after all.
It is just plastic with a new appearance
“Is vegan leather a sustainable and ethical material, or just plastic embellished with a new appearance?”- This is the first point. Answering such question, one finds out that “synthetic market worldwide has been considerably increasing in the last two years: synthetic materials proved to be a cheaper alternative option to genuine leather”. Furthermore, the concept of vegan leather is rather appealing in the social networks, as 200,000 followers posted a comment on Instagram.
Synthetics “bio magnification”
Yet, we have to consider that “a vast majority of fake leather contain Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a synthetic plastic polymer which takes ages before biodegrading. On top of that, it is extremely corrosive to plants”, not to mention its attitude towards “bio magnification: its effects on animals and wildlife get more and more negative while food chain keeps going on”.
What are the effects of “vegetable-based” alternative options?
Apparently, natural fibres are another possible alternative option to genuine leather. It is no coincidence that “someone has been manufacturing, for a while, shoes and accessories” by using, for example, cork and fibres of pineapple leaves. “At first sight, one can think that vegetable-based materials are the most sustainable option: the good thing, in fact, is that shoes are biodegradable” – they remarked in the fashion.ie article -. Yet, however, to make shoes starting from a vegetable base may be quite a challenge: it requires a close selection of materials alongside an accurate analysis of their social and environmental effects”.
In the picture, a screenshot from fashion.ie web portal: click here to read the original version of the article