Environmental sustainability has become extremely popular in the fashion industry, and many fashion brands are striving to be environmentally conscious. Their efforts include partnering with local communities to source raw ingredients sustainably and finding new types of biodegradable fabrics and textiles.
Vegan leather products are the latest trend to join sustainable ventures in the fashion world. Vegan leather in the UK is quickly becoming popular amongst a growing woke community of fashion designers, brands and garment companies.
Let’s take you through different features of vegan leather fashion products and why it might be a good decision to favour them over original leather.
What is vegan leather, and how is it different from traditional leather?
Vegan leather is made from synthetic materials or organic fibres instead of the skin of dead animals like cows or reptiles. Therefore, the production of vegan leather does not require the needless killing of animals and is much more eco-friendly than conventional leather.
Its eco-friendliness and the absence of animal cruelty are two of the factors that have contributed to the increase in vegan leather’s popularity. According to Infinium Global Research, the vegan leather market can reach a net value of $89.6 billion by 2026.
What is vegan leather made of?
While there are quite a few types of raw materials used for manufacturing vegan leather, the most common types are Polyurethane (PU) and Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
PV is a thermoplastic polymer—this means it doesn’t change its structure when exposed to heat or other environmental conditions. While PV products are easy to clean and are vegan, they aren’t very good for the planet since PV is not biodegradable.
PVC is produced in the same way as PV and only differs in the fact that it has an extra plastic coating on the fabric. This makes it much more durable than PV although it is non-biodegradable like PV.
Can vegan leather be made from natural fibres?
Yes! With the rising awareness about the non-biodegradability of PU and PVC fibres, more natural fibres are being explored to make materials with leather-like consistency.
Here are some of the most popular vegan leathers that are sourced from plant-based fibres.
- Pinatex (pineapple leather)
- Mango leather
- MuSkin or mushroom leather
- Grape skin leather
- Cactus leather
- Coconut leather
- Cork leather
Why should you make the switch to vegan leather derived from plant-based sources?
There are numerous benefits of making the switch from animal leather to plant-based vegan leather, the prime ones include:
- Vegan leather is cruelty-free and animal-friendly.
- Vegan leather sourced from plant fibres is sustainable and eco-friendly compared to PU and PVC leather.
- Owing to their flexibility and elastic properties, vegan leather can be easily customised to produce a large number of products.
- Vegan leather production from plant sources produces less CO2 and other greenhouse gases
- Vegan leather has similar types of pores and external appearance as some types of animal leather.
- Vegan leather can be very durable and waterproof too.
The best vegan leather brands in the UK
Following the appearance of the world’s first vegan handbag at Paris Fashion Week as a part of Stella McCartney’s collection, a lot of other brands are cashing in on this trend.
As audiences are becoming more aware of the importance of sustainability, newer fashion brands are joining the vegan leather bandwagon.
Here are some of the most trendsetting brands in the UK that create fashionable vegan leather products.
- Von Holzhausen
- V by Townsley
- Stella McCartney
How can you become a contributor to the vegan leather trend?
If you are a sustainable fashion enthusiast and want to do your bit towards popularising vegan leather products, you can start by enrolling in a good fashion design or fashion business management programme.
An industry-oriented fashion business programme can help you learn how to popularise sustainable fashion trends among your target audiences. You can also learn how to run a successful vegan leather brand.
The London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) offers a great MA in Fashion Business and Management programme that can be relevant here. This course lets you learn how to keep yourself up to date on the latest fashion industry trends and use persuasive marketing strategies for your brand products.
The fashion business course is offered in association with the University for the Creative Arts, which is a renowned institution for creative courses. Additionally, the course can help you acquire significant management skills which can serve you well in any corporate position.
Click here to invest in this comprehensive fashion business course in London at LCCA today!