In the fashion industry, there are always various sorts of debates going on. What is in style, the greatest fashion icons, the best fabrics, etc. Out of these, a prevalent debate has been that of vegan vs real leather; which is more popular, and which one is worth the money. Even to this day, people have questions as to which one is better.
Real leather is more popular than vegan leather because it has been used in handbags, wallets, jackets, etc. for decades now. Real leather also has better durability than vegan leather.
We are sure you are curious about other details of this topic. To help you out, we are going to provide all the insights relevant to this topic, along with a few additional details. We would recommend reading the whole article so that you can make the best decisions for yourself and your wardrobe.
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While ethically speaking, vegan leather seems to take the win as it diminishes animal cruelty created by the production of real leather. As we already know, real leather is sourced from the hides of animals, and dawning it on in the form of fashion can be unethical. Yet, leather items can have their perks too. We have mentioned them below.
As long as the meat industry is present, there will be animal cruelty. Hence, there can be a certain benefit to making use of the whole animal. As a result, real leather serves as a by-product of the meat industry. Once the real purpose of the animals has been served (their meat), their skin is put to use as well so that absolutely nothing goes to waste.
In terms of sustainability, this is known as “zero waste”. Through this, you can find function for all parts of something rather than using it for one part only and disregarding everything else.
Real leather can last for decades if you properly take care of it. Since it comes from animal skin, it does not diminish easily. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for vegan leather as they are more prone to wear and tear and need to be replaced more frequently.
If you consider the cost from this angle as well, even though real leather items might seem like a luxury because of their high prices, you will get your value for money as you can use them over and over again. The value of purchasing one real leather item is almost equivalent to purchasing many vegan leather items over the years.
When we say real leather comes from animal skin, we mean every aspect of it. This includes veins, stretch marks, etc. As a result, real leather items look better with time as you use them more. They also develop patina, a soft shine that makes the item look more distinctive and adds a regal look to it.
When it comes to vegan leather, as we have mentioned above, it does not get better with time and has to be replaced. In addition, they do not develop patina. Even the pores of vegan leather have an artificial appeal to them when you directly compare them with real leather, as they are made from synthetic materials.
There is a reason why real leather has held a landmark in the world of fashion. Its texture, its feel, even if it smells, is something like no other. Simply adorning it boosts your confidence. Even the irregular marks and pores of real leather give it a distinguished look. No wonder people spend thousands of dollars on it.
Even when vegan leather has come a long way when it comes impersonating real leather, it does not have the oomph factor that real leather does. Just an inch shy of the softness, of the rich texture. Vegan leather does not even smell anywhere close to real leather. Due to the materials used, it mostly smells of chemicals, instead of the enticing smell like real leather.
Contrary to popular belief, vegan leather can also have detrimental effects on the environment, even if the name suggests otherwise. Vegan leather is mostly made from synthetic polymers such as polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These are materials based on plastic.
PVC is responsible for releasing dioxins, a highly toxic chemical that can distort your immune system and lead to respiratory diseases, even cancer. They can be very harmful when in confined spaces and destructive if burned. At times, you will notice a strange smell coming from the faux leather. This is from the toxins being released by the PVC.
PVC is sometimes paired with plasticizers for the production of vegan leather. As a result, the toxicity from the plastic increases. Due to all these chemicals used in the manufacturing process, vegan leather mostly ends up oozing a foul smell. Trying to get rid of the smell often leads to the material of the vegan leather being ruined.
In addition, the production of vegan leather leads to micro-plastic pollution which negatively impacts the environment. Due to the degree of plastics used up in production, these plastics will require many, many years to fully biodegrade. At the same time, they release toxins and phthalates which are very harmful to animals and humans.
Lastly, as we have already mentioned, due to its synthetic materials, vegan leather does not last very long compared to real leather. They do not have the same shine and are easily ruined. They also become discolored and develop a texture that is kind of sticky.
As a result, the environmental repercussions of replacing vegan leather multiple times due to wear and tear are definitely more damaging to the earth than the use of a single real leather product.
After reading this article, you now have a clear understanding of which is more popular and better between vegan vs real leather.
Now you can also add some exquisite handbags to your leather products collection. Wishing you a lovely day ahead!