Sure, bags and shoes are great. But what about stylish vegan leather clothing? We’ve found some of the best brands!
By Noa Ben-Moshe
Fashion week runways have lately shown a depressing trend. Leather and suede clothing is going to be huge. Again.
As any eco-fashionista knows, animal-based materials have a huge ecological and ethical price, and whether you’re vegan or not, there’s little doubt the leather industry is cruel. After all, it’s responsible for the abuse and slaughter of billions of animals every single year.
The environmental impact of leather is enormous, too. Raising animals for leather creates loads of waste and pollution, and billions of trees are cut down in order to create space for factory farms and food for the animals, and during the making of leather, factories use toxic chemicals such s chrome, which is highly toxic and can even cause cancer.
But that’s not all.
Workers, including many children, are exposed to these chemicals every day. And these are just a few reasons why the only ethical leather is to wear vegan! Or…is it?
Is Vegan Leather Ethical?
Many wonder what vegan leather clothing is made of. The answer to that is pretty varied, in fact.
While traditional “vegan leather” is often made from environmentally-damaging materials like plastic-based PVC or the slightly better option of PU, it seems like every other day a new vegan leather alternative crops up. For example, sustainable and innovative options like Piñatex, apple leather, and cactus leather are growing in availability and popularity.
Although these vegan leathers often do contain a bit of plastic, it’s notable that animal leather is worse than even PVC when it comes to damaging the environment.
And while some argue that animal skins at least are biodegradable, that’s not true. The hard fact is that around 90% of all leather is so coated in chemicals that it cannot effectively biodegrade, ever. And yes, I’m even talking about vegetable tanned leather.
So even those plant-based leathers that are made from PU or which contain polyester are still often more sustainable (and ethical) than new leather garments.
It’s an encouraging sign that ever-increasing numbers of people are choosing to purchase vegan leather bags and shoes. But what about vegan leather clothing?
Though this is more rare, again, options are increasing. Especially in terms of outerwear, like coats and jackets. But that’s not all! Some designers are even creating dresses, skirts and trousers made of plant based materials.
In fact, there are now many wonderful vegan leather clothing brands that are designing vegan leather clothing items that are bang-on trend. Here are a few of the best.
Vegan Leather Clothing Labels We Love
From shoes and bags to clothing, I’m loving all of Nanushka’s smooth, soft vegan leather garments.
2. Matt & Nat
We must tip our hat to Matt & Nat. The Canadian label was always vegan, sure. But lately, they’ve become more and more eco-friendly. How so, I hear you ask? Well, for starters, they’re using recycled plastic bottles to make much of their faux leathers. And yes, of course we know the dangers of microplastics. But when we’re taking outerwear and shoes, I mean…do you really wash such items frequently?
But that’s not all – the label has also incorporated quite a few plant based leathers now, like apple and cactus. Once known mainly for their handbags, Matt & Nat is offering shoes, as well as jackets and coats, for men and women who abhor cruelty in fashion.
One of the best vegan leather clothing brands for: Those on a budget.
Honestly, we don’t know much about this NYC based brand. Are they using bioleather? PU? There’s not much information on their site. What we DO know is that DANZ labels itself as having “an old-world attention to luxury details, yet unabashedly modern in attitude. It is a community of ideas that ventures beyond fashion and clothing, into the realm of Technology, Culture and Art.”
And their styles are truly art, indeed! Just look at this design, below, for example.
One of the best vegan leather clothing brands for: Serious fashionistas.
This is one of the most ethical vegan brands we know of! They’re committed to fair practices with their staff across the supply chain. But that’s not all – Culthread only uses recycled, upcycled or deadstock fabrics, as well as plant-based leathers like Pinatex. Even the ‘down’ in their jackets is made of 100% recycled materials.
For example? This gold vegan leather puffer jacket is made of the highest quality of recycled, ethical, and cruelty-free materials. The the puffer style provides the warmth and comfort you need on chilly days.
In addition, their mailer bags are biodegradable, recyclable and plastic free. Even the tape is also fully biodegradable and 10% plastic free self-adhesive paper packing tape.
One of the best vegan leather clothing brands for: Really warm winter coats. Without any feather down filling, of course!
Will’s has long been loved by vegans for their wide range of boots and shoes for men and women. Today, they offer vegan coats and jackets in timeless, classic cuts. These are super sustainable and practical to wear. Tailored in Italy with Italian-made 100% recycled PET and BCI-certified cotton, this outerwear features super soft fabric that feels luxurious. All of Will’s winter coats are designed to keep you warm in all kinds of weather, thanks to their 100% recycled polyester linings.
One of the best vegan leather clothing brands for: Great ethics. And everything you need to wear outdoors.
Did we miss any of your favourite vegan leather clothing brands? Let us know in the comments, below!