10 Ways Vegan Leather Is A More Sustainable Option

We're well into the autumn season, which means that boots are again everyone's favorite form of footwear. If your old pair is wearing out, you might be considering a new investment. Or, maybe you're just eyeing the options on the shelf and are fascinated by the different designs.

Either way, before you get out your credit card and make a purchase, it's worth taking the time to consider the materials used to make the boots you're buying. In particular, we're talking about leather.

Today, you can find styles that are equally stunning, durable and well-made, using vegan leather as an alternative. Today, we're sharing 10 reasons why these are the better choice, and how you can find some for your own closet!

What is Vegan Leather?

In short, vegan leather is a material that looks and feels like real leather but is made without the use of any animal products. In most cases, vegan leather is made from a substance called polyurethane. This is an eco-friendly polymer that be molded and shaped to fit any designer's creation.

More recently, designers have been branching out and trying different, natural products to mimic the appearance of leather, reaching for more sustainable items such as:
  • Cork
  • Pineapple leaves
  • Apple peels
  • Fruit waste
  • Recycled plastic
Some fashion designers, including Stella McCartney, have committed to a vegetarian or vegan brand altogether, and use vegan leather to make everything from handbags to motorcycle boots.

Why Choose It?

With so many options, why should you favor vegan leather shoes over real leather ones? Let's take a look at 10 reasons why this earth-conscious choice is the better deal.

1. No Animal Skins

First, let's start with the most obvious choice. Vegan leather is not made with any form of animal skins. That means you won't find products that contain any trace of pigs, cows, alligators, ostriches, goats, sheep or even domesticated pets.

This not only makes it a more sustainable and long-lasting product, but a cruelty-free one, to boot.

2. Less Energy Required

Of course, animal skin does not naturally look like the material used to create a shiny, sleek new pair of boots. Rather, it has to undergo a rigorous, time-consuming and energy-draining process to transform into the product you recognize as leather.

By choosing vegan alternatives, you can help improve the energy efficiency of the retail industry and reduce facility reliance on traditional fossil fuels.

3. Fewer Chemicals Used

In addition to energy, converting raw animal materials to finished leather also requires the use of a substantial number of chemicals and preservatives. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Formaldehyde
  • Oils and dyes
  • Mineral Salts
  • Coal/tar derivatives
  • Synthetic finishes
Vegan options are more natural and as such, do not require the use of these potentially harmful substances.

4. Cleaner Wastewater

As you might imagine, the facilities that undergo the traditional leather manufacturing process create wastewater that contains the chemicals used on-site. While this water is meant to be treated before it re-enters the environment, this isn't always the case.

When sulfides, acids and other pollutants are present in the water, it can pose a threat to nearby ecosystems. However, when manufacturers rely on vegan materials and methods, this risk is eliminated. This helps the facility stay cleaner and more sanitary overall.

5. Cleaner Soil

What happens when polluted wastewater is allowed to run freely into the communities where these manufacturing facilities are located? The soil becomes likewise polluted.

This is a seemingly endless cycle, but it can be mitigated and even fully eliminated when vegan choices are made.

6. A Sustainable Investment

A great pair of leather shoes won't cost mere pennies on the dollar. Rather, this is meant to be an investment that lasts for years, if not a lifetime.

When you put your money toward a vegan pair, you can take the first steps in creating what's known as a capsule wardrobe. This is simply a pared-down wardrobe that only includes high-quality, luxurious pieces you know you'll wear again and again. In essence, it eschews the "fast fashion" lifestyle trend that convinces us we need every $5 t-shirt we come across because it's a great deal.

Vegan boots are a great way to start this process and slowly curate the eco-friendly, sustainable closet of your dreams.

7. Biodegradable Materials

Many forms of vegan leather are also biodegradable, as well. Take cork, for instance. Not only is cork vegan and biodegradable, but it's also recyclable and incredibly versatile. Today, you can find cork leather in a variety of clothing items, from belts to shoes!

8. Supports Eco-Friendly Brands

Want to do your part to help fuel the eco-friendly fashion movement? By purchasing vegan leather shoes, you're sending a great message and starting an important conversation.

In addition, you're giving your patronage to brands that are committed to following ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.

9. No Pollutants

Did you know that the tanning of leather is one of the top pollution threats in the world? Affecting 1.8 million people, it's often carried out in countries that lack adequate resources for effective solid or liquid waste management.

We've mentioned that wastewater and solid waste are an issue, but overall environmental pollutants are also heightened during the tanning process. Vegan options give you the same look and are far gentler on the environment.

10. Easy to Start

In years past, it was difficult to find many brands that were embracing sustainable, vegan fashion. Now, however, many top brands are making the transition and offering more options than ever before.

This makes it easy to begin your own personal journey toward making smarter, more earth-friendly choices.

Find Vegan Leather Shoes Today

Want to look fashion-forward, on-trend and turn heads? Vegan leather can get you there, and the best part? You don't have to sacrifice your commitment to the environment to look great.

When you're ready to shop, we have all the styles you want. Check out our full selection of sustainable footwear today and reach out to our team with any questions.
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