Is Vegan Leather Really A Sustainable Alternative To The Real Thing?

by MR Magazine Staff

Fashion has always had a weakness for oxymorons. Take “athleisure” – that peculiar clash of athletic meets sweat-free casual. Ditto “affordable luxury”. Its latest self-contradictory crush? “Vegan leather”. Otherwise known as synthetic leather, it used to be colloquially identified as (insert sniffy voice here) “pleather”. It is mostly made from polyurethane, a versatile polymer made from fossil fuels, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), another form of plastic, and was formerly derided as cheap – the “skinted” alternative to “minted” butter-soft lambskin. But with the industry’s move away from fur – Gucci, Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren are just some of the luxury brands to have gone fur-free – comes a reassessment of other animal-based products. In particular, the production of leather has come under increased scrutiny. Read more at British Vogue.