What is Vegan Leather?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. We were looking at the Kia EV6 electric car as the steering wheel is vegan-leather, but we’ve seen that the same model has suede upholstery!

  2. Very helpful post, thank you.

    I’m a non-vegan who is trying nonetheless to integrate more vegan food and products into my life.

    As a consumer, the comfort/breathability/stretchiness of real leather has always been a selling point. Are you able to elaborate on which of the leather alternatives are breathable/stretchable in leather-like ways?

    I suppose if I was doing this as table (love tables), I’d list each leather and score it for fossil fuels inputs | longevity | comfort | stretchability.

  3. Wow I am kind of embarassed to admit I thought the vegan leather is only the pvc/pu. Which I knew essentially is kind of plastic and was always against it! I am not vegan but I am very much against the mass consumption and always thought I’d rather pay more for genuine leather pair of boots which I will wear for years and years rather than go for a cheap alternative which is not biodegradable and normally doesn’t last as long. I clearly needed to educate myself better! Thank you for all this information!

    1. No need to be embarrassed. We were very much in the same boat. We’re appreciative that you’re open and hopefully, now you may be able to try some of the sustainable and cruelty-free alternatives 🙂

  4. Hi, that’s a very insightful piece. I was wondering when we buy handbags, wallets etc, when the tag mentions material: PU. Should I assume that’s vegan leather or not? no seller mentions it very clearly as 100 % PU, so was wondering whether it might be artificial leather or not?



    1. Great question! Normally when analysing labels, PU would mean that it’s artificial. We’ve found that brands usually break down what percentage is PU and what percentage is leather. But if it’s unclear, and you like the product, it may be worth reaching out to the brand directly. We’re glad you found this post helpful.

    1. Hi Amy, sorry, I just saw your comment. That’s going to come down to the material used for vegan leather. We recently published a post with our recommended ethical and sustainable clothing brands. Perhaps check out some of the links and see what the washing instructions are for the garments you’re interested in.

  5. Great article! I hadn’t heard of some of these, and it is good to be mindful of what we are buying as far as vegan leather goes. Thank you ?!

  6. Thank you for this information! It was really interesting to read. I live the eco-friendly lifestyle and I don’t think that vegan leather is environmentally-friendly.

    1. No problem, Joshua. Would you mind elaborating on why you don’t think vegan leather is environmentally-friendly? I certainly agree that the plastic-based materials are harmful, but what about the other alternatives mentioned in this post?

  7. This article was really interesting for me. I am Portuguese and regarding the leather made from cork I was already aware, since we have plenty of products, as for the other innovative ways of producing leather I had no idea. It was very informative! Keep doing your great job. 🙂

  8. This is the most difficult part for me as I have hard to fit short wide feet. I spent over $100 USD on a lovely pair of Beyond Skin pumps, hoping they would stretch a little, but they hurt my feet terribly. I’ve purchased several youth non-leather shoes and boots. They wear out much more quickly, so I have decided that every other year, I will allow myself to purchase one gently used leather dress shoes or boots. Vegan leather shoemakers need to get off their high horse-less egos and make shoes in more than one width as vegans’ feet are not all medium width. Thanks for letting me rant on this!

    1. Hi Rhea, you’re always welcome to rant here 🙂 I too have wide flat feet. So I can relate. It was a challenge to find shoes before I was vegan, but it’s even harder now. We just need to be patient.

  9. Excellent article, this is so helpful thank you very much. And great to see cork coming back into its many possible uses. It literally grows on trees. I grew up amongst beautiful cork forests in Portugal and they are a key part of the local ecosystem.