Although leather may be the dominant choice when it comes to choosing a jacket, wallet, or handbag it is far from the only option. From our favorite alternative cork, to pineapple leather, mushroom leather, and even treated paper! The list goes on.
We're here to share with you a few of these choices so we can keep the cows happy and to point you in the right direction when looking to replace your leather items or simply add alternatives to your rotation.
1. Cork aka Vegan Leather - We at corature produce a variety of products using cork fabric. Cork is by far our favorite. Not only is cork a renewable material but the cork oak tree actually takes in 3-5x more CO2 than an unstripped tree. Without demand for cork the forests will evenutally be replaced by other crops that will eventually lead to desertification of the region. This aspect of the industry makes it our favorite and drives us to introduce cork to as many people as we can.
2. A new comer on the scene is Pineapple Leather called Pinatex although it has very limited distribution at the moment it looks very promising. Made in the Philippines the product is made out of the fibers in Pinapple leaves aka a otherwise waste product. We look forward to seeing more of this and wish to combine it with cork in the future.
3. Mushroom Leather aka MuSkin is another leather alternative that has recently come on the scene. The material is breathable, pliable, naturally water-repellant, and 100% bio-degradeable. It's infused with Hemp or linen fabric to increase it's durability and stand the test of time. We're unsure of how long it will last but it's an interesting development and we're eager to wait and see what happens.
4. Paper Leather Tessiltoschi Industrie Tessili Spa has created a paper leather that is said to not only be durable but also waterproof! The textile can be printed upon and given a variety of patterns and looks. It's made from recyled paper, is animal free, and great looking as well. An exciting innovation that is sure to make waves in the fashion industry.
5. Faux Leather or Pleather is another often choosen material. From sofas to handbags it has been a go-to choice for many when looking for a suitable and durable alternative. Normally lined with a polyurethane material that isn't 100% Eco-Friendly it still avoids many of the damaging aspects of leather production. Leather the "meat by-product" is rife with environmentally damaging baggage. As we discussed before in the blog post Leather Protestors the industry uses an extreme amount of highly toxic chemicals during the tanning process which destroys not only the environment and waterways but also takes human lives.
But don't take our word for it here's a video from Human Rights Watch. Warning! It's not pretty!
We hope this list helps you on your search for a viable replacement for leather. If you would like to take a closer look at our favorite, cork, visit our store and see and take a look at the cork wallets, bags, and purses that we have on offer.