Environmentally Mindful Vegan Leather

Tara Wegdam

Posted on April 06 2018

Pixie Mood Ombre totes


Is vegan leather good for the environment? Vegan leather and faux leather are “leather-like” materials that do not use animal skin. Materials that are used to make vegan leather range from synthetics, like plastic, to natural materials like cork. Below, we’ll discuss exactly how vegan leather is made, its effects on the environment, how to maintain vegan leather goods, how vegan leather compares to real leather, great vegan leather brands, and most importantly, where you can find the best selection of vegan leather accessories.

ombre mini taseled crossbody

How is Vegan Leather Made?

Synthetic leather is produced with different chemicals and industrial process than real leather. The most common way to make faux leather is to bond a plastic coating to a fabric backing. This plastic coating can vary and is the main factor in defining whether it is eco-friendly.

Even though there are natural materials that can be used, such as cork or kelp, very few vegan leathers are made from natural materials. The use of plastic has raised questions about safety and dangers of vegan leather to the environment.

The most commonly used materials for synthetic leathers are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU). They are both plastic based materials that have helped to coin the name “pleather” or plastic leather. PVC is used much less than it was in the 1960’s and 70’s, but it can still be found in the composition of some vegan leathers. It releases dioxins that are potentially dangerous if burnt or confined in spaces. These plastics may also contain phthalates that are added to make it flexible. These phthalates are extremely toxic and the most environmentally damaging type of plastic.

The less damaging plastic is polyurethane (PU). This more modern material is constantly tempered with to develop and reduce its flaws to the environment. Oil based polymers are made to make sure of fossil fuels and release less hazardous toxins when released during manufacturing. PU-leather has much less harmful impact on the planet than vinyl or PVC, and it is a lot softer and does not crack in the harsh winter weather like other synthetic leathers would.

 vegan leather

Effect on the Environment?

Faux leather is known as vegan leather because the materials used are never from animal skins. This is a great benefit for animal activists, but making synthetic leather is not always beneficial to the environment, as the manufacturing and disposal of PVC- based synthetics can release toxins and the materials don’t fully biodegrade. Designers are always on the hunt for new and innovative materials to be used in their products. One interesting method is the use of pineapple husks as the base for creating vegan friendly bags. These natural methods are much more environmentally conscious while still being animal-friendly.

Vegan Leather

 How to Maintain Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather is waterproof, making it easy to clean by using a mild detergent or simply wiping it with a damp cloth. Quality materials that cover the surface of the bag prevent high temperatures and sun rays from cracking the surface.

If a repair to your vegan leather is needed, replace or patch up the damaged area with a faux leather repair kit. This is a super easy fix and you can find many different types of faux leather patches.

Quality faux leathers can be steamed to remove wrinkles when protected with a sheet or towel. Just remember to not heat your bag for more than 30 seconds!


 Vegan vs Real Leather?

The main thing to think about is the impact it has on animals and the environment.  Vegan leather is created with leather called Polyurethane (PU-leather), which is different from lower grade synthetic leathers such as vinyl or PVC. PU-leather has much less impact on the planet than vinyl or PVC, it is a lot softer and does not crack in the harsh winter weather like other synthetic leathers would. 

When looking at the quality of vegan leather, one can see that they can often be a lot thinner and more light weight than real leather. These features make it easier to work with and create new things.

Faux leather is typically cheaper than real leather products. They come in several different forms and qualities with some more “leather-like” than others.

vegan bag 

Great Vegan Leather Brands!

Pixie Mood has made it a top priority to create products without harming any animals. Born out of a love for fashion, Pixie Mood designs on-trend accessories that are vegan-friendly. Keeping up with the latest up and coming trends, they bring fresh designs inspired by the runway and flows straight to those who love fashion. Their mission is to find fun and fashionable alternatives to leather and fur. They want to make it easier for us to make an empathetic choice while still looking fabulous. 

With cruelty-free products in mind, Pixie mood is all about colors, fun patterns, and unique shapes and textures. Their love for animals, art, colors, and textiles has led to pursuing a dream of having a cruelty-free handbag brand. Check out their Ombré tote that comes in different colors and hues. The tote is a one of the kind bag that features an insert that can be used as a cross body bag.  Just perfect for all your essentials for your next Saturday brunch!

lou lou  Simple Vegan Leather Handbag is great stamen piece to your collection. They come in blue, white and tan and are perfect for any occasion! Enjoy an afternoon out with friends with all your necessities right at hand with this lightweight bag.

Looking for the best Vegan Leather Backpack? lou lou has an adorable vegan leather backpack to carry all your must-have belongs hand-free! This bag features adjustable strap, gold-tone hardware, and plenty of pockets. They come in your choice of five different colors.

 Pixi Mood

 Where can you find the best selection vegan leather?

At lou lou we offer a variety of different products that feature safe leather! These products are made from Polyurethane(PU) instead of animal hides. We offer vegan leather that tends to be a little lighter weight than natural leather too! From handbags to crossbody bags to backpacks, we have animal cruelty-free vegan leather options for everyone. Find all the must-have animal-friendly styles and trends when you shop our selection of vegan leather handbags and purses at lou lou.  


Share this post with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help others find the best safe leather accessories! We’re even giving 30% off this weekend only (April 6-8) for all online purchases of 100% vegan leather accessories.  Use the promo code VEGAN30 at checkout to take advantage of this limited time deal! Add to your shopping cart here: https://loulouboutiques.com/collections/vegan-leather


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