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It’s 2021, and many of us are fed up with the leather industry.
With the push toward a more plant-based, eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s no wonder why so many people are giving up leather. It’s not very sustainable and, of course, it causes harm to animals.
But many of us still love the texture and look of leather.
If you’re done with traditional leather, that doesn’t mean you have to give up that effortlessly cool style. Here’s how you can make the switch away from cow leather.
The most common vegan substitute for leather is polyurethane, referred to commonly as PU.
PU consists of either a woven or unwoven fabric coated in a polyurethane resin to give it that leathery texture. It’s fairly inexpensive and easy to find.
2. Mushroom Leather
Mushroom leather is new on the market. It’s made from mycelium, which is essentially the “roots” from with mushrooms grow.
This mushroom leather is a sustainable option since it takes little resources and space to cultivate the fibers. It also has a texture that closely resembles cow leather.
We’re not just talking about the stuff that your sheets are made of, here.
Microfiber leather is woven microfiber with a polyurethane coating on it.
It’s considered to be of higher quality than regular polyurethane leather. This is because it has 3 layers and is better at resisting damage and repelling water.
It also holds color better than a typical PU.
4. Waxed Canvas
Waxed canvas, or waxed cotton, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.
A natural fabric, typically cotton, is coated in wax to give it the texture and feel of cow leather.
Cork is a unique take on vegan leather. It’s made from the same soft tree bark substance that corkboard is made from.
It offers a smooth and water-resistant surface that’s lightweight and overall just fun.
6. Recycled Rubber
Recycled rubber from things like tires and fire hoses can make a great alternative to your favorite hard-leather accessories.
It has an edgy look to it that’s even cooler than that of regular leather.
It’s also incredibly durable, so you know it will last a lifetime.
7. Apple Leather
This one is pretty outside the box. Apple leather is made from the scraps of apple processing (think cores and skins.)
Though it looks similar to leather, it has a sort of paper-like texture. This makes it easier to work with than leather when sewing or designing.
8. Big Leaves
You can’t get much simpler or more straightforward than just using big leaves for fabric.
This leather alternative usually uses leaves from palm trees or banana trees. Since the plants they come from are naturally waterproof and damage-resistant, the accessories made from them are naturally protected.
9. Cactus Leather
Cactus leather is made from dried fibers from cactus plants that are woven together.
It’s smooth and just as durable as the plant it comes from, meaning it can withstand the elements.
Coconut leather is made by the byproducts of coconuts production, much like apple leather. It uses the husks from the coconuts as well as wastewater.
This recycling of waste products is great for the environment. Plus, when you’re done with coconut leather, it’s entirely compostable.
Ditch Traditional Leather
If you’re tired of wearing leather and the ecological impact it has, it’s time to switch it up.
You have lots of options when it comes to what kind of non-leather you want to add to your wardrobe.
With so many alternatives out there, why would you even dream of going back to traditional cow leather?