Attention dear reader, it looks like you are about to enter the maze of fashion! We present here the alternatives to leather for a 100% guaranteed vegan leather 😉
"Let the story begin"
In recent years, a light has been lit in the world of fashion (you can read our article dedicated to fast fashion and slow fashion ). Although for many years the textile and leather industry has made a fortune, new generations have understood that we are not necessarily going in the right direction. If we start to look behind the scenes of this gigantic industry, we come to the conclusion that we cannot go on like this. It is time to preserve our little planet and its inhabitants, bipeds or quadrupeds, not to destroy it.
We said to ourselves that we had to clarify a subject that concerns us all; leather and its alternatives, which can be described as vegan leather . Everyone knows leather for its qualities, but do we really know the behind the scenes of leather?
YOU WILL SEE FEAR FOR A FEW SECONDS
To put it simply, leather comes from animals, so far we are not going to teach you (at least I hope so). Leather is mainly used in the clothing industry because, once treated with toxic products (formaldehyde, tar derivatives, cyanide-based dyes and other dangerous substances) by tanneries and tannery, this material can be kept for a very long time . Thus, with the property of being very resistant, leather is an ally of choice for making shoes that we will use on a daily basis. But with all these substances, we won't hide it from you, it's not very good for your health.
The leather comes mainly from Asia, particularly China and India. Made on the other side of the world for us Westerners, it is therefore very difficult to really know the origin of the leather that we wear . Without wanting to scare you, billions of animals are killed each year to meet the demand of the fashion industry . Not having the same culture as our Chinese compatriots, they do not hesitate to slaughter dogs for their skins (about 2,000,000 according to the association PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
With leather, our feet are warm and are rather "stylish"... but a problem remains. Let's admit that it's not really ethical and that we shouldn't have too much empathy for our four-legged friends, whether they're oxen, horses or dogs.
So yes you will tell me that as a hunter-gatherer, human beings needed to hunt to wear skins and resist winter. It is the law of the strongest.
Except that we are no longer in the era of Game Of Thrones or the Middle Ages, we can now change the way we consume .
Now that I have cooled you down on the matter, we have good news; there are many alternatives to leather, so vegan leather , and more and more brands and celebrities such as Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) or Stella McCartney who are interested in it! We don't have all these materials in our sneakers yet, but who knows what the future holds? In short, we let you discover some of our finds 🤩
VEGAN LEATHER IN Vogue!
Recycled plastic bottles (our famous recycled PET)
PET comes from the abbreviation "transparent polyethylene terephthalate". Bless you !
More simply , it is thematerial of plastic bottles and in France, we consume on average between 6 and 8 billion per year. Good performance.
By recycling these bottles, it is now possible to transform them into new materials and this is precisely what SAOLA has undertaken to do! The process is simple, we collect these bottles from the oceans or dumpsters, we melt them down taking all the precautions in force, then we transform this new material into yarn ! From there, we are able to make the upper of our ecological shoes from 90% recycled plastic bottles. That's Saola vegan leather . You know everything 😊!
Grape-based vegan leather
100% ecological just as much as these neighbors that we will see later, grapes can also be used in a new industry, that of textiles !
Vegea, an Italian company, initiated the process after observing that of the 26 billion liters produced each year, it was possible to recover the stems, skin and seeds of grapes . Rather than throwing them away, you might as well reuse this waste!
100% natural and ecological to integrate into our future vegan shoes ? Who thought it would make anything else out of wine?
More info on vegan leather made from grapes: https://positivr.fr/cuir-de-vigne-vegan/
Pinatex: Vegan leather in pineapple leaves
Extremely ecological and initiated by Carmen Hijosa, this new label is made from pineapple leaves . Rather original, no?
Carmen Hijosa has worked for a long time in the clothing industry and very often confronted the ecological and human problems linked to animal leather. Inspired directly from the Philippines, she decided to use the 13 million tons of waste from pineapple production to create this new alternative to leather . Brands such as Hugo Boss or Lancel have already taken an interest in this material, not crazy when you know that this material is sold 20% cheaper than animal leather.
The mushroom, a newcomer
No, no you're not dreaming, it is indeed possible to use mushrooms too!
Created in 2013 by Philipp Ross, Myco Works is an American start-up that campaigns against leather, just like us. Columbia or Berkeley have already got their hands on this ingenious process that uses the properties of mycelium from mushrooms . Heated to a very high temperature in moulds, this new material is well on the way to quickly taking the place of crocodile leather in the years to come!
Eucalyptus, more virtues..
Eucalyptus, a favorite food of Koalas, is not only used for its natural medicinal benefits. Added to recycled PET , seen below, some brands have already had success making belts . The advantage? It is a 100% vegan leather, rather resistant and it is a very good alternative against leather of animal origin.
Cork, used in our soles!
What if, in addition to using cork in our soles, we also use it to make the uppers of our shoes? Still 100% eco -friendly, cork worked and transformed into fabric is known to be soft, very light and waterproof . Convenient for leather look but vegan shoes.
Imagine ethical shoes with a cork upper and instead of smelling the smell of your feet after a day's work, you would smell the wine...
The icing on the cake is a bio-degradable material 🍒
Other vegan leathers are yet to be discovered...
The list is not at all exhaustive and we reserve other articles for you in the future to make you discover new materials (such as eco-leather by Richard Wool) which will surely inspire us in the months and years to come. . We are constantly looking for new materials that are always more respectful of the environment, so if you hear about a new material, we will also be delighted to find out more and study the question!
See you on the next article!