Vegan Leather vs Genuine Leather Goods – What is the difference? Vegan Leather has been around a while, as has genuine leather. However, recently I saw handbags labelled vegan leather. So I researched, as to what vegan leather was exactly. What did I discover? Read on!
What Is Vegan Leather?
In my opinion, it is not leather at all. My research provided insight of the many methods used to produce these vegan leather products. This type leather is a combination of comprised materials. Some manufacturers take apple peel and pulp (waste product) from the apple and cider facilities and compress the materials, then apply the polyurethane (PVC) coating.
There are also manufacturers that use pineapple tops (waste product) and ground them up, compress them, and then apply the polyurethane (PVC) coating.
Controversy About Polyurethane
There are controversial conversations about the use of polyurethane (PVC), which of course, is a plastic coating. Toxic fumes from the coating are hazardous to your health. Some say, that it also has an odor that can be detected.
The longevity of a product, made with vegan materials and then coated with the polyurethane (PVC) coating, is not one I would appreciate. Compared to genuine leather finished products the vegan leather is less expensive.
Finished Products Made From Vegan Leather
There are many products such as:
Vegan Leather called and labelled as “Faux Leather”. Typical label verbiage shown on fashion products. Vegan Leather does not breathe, like genuine leather, and due to this, the products quality deteriorates over a small amount of time. Due to the coated surface, basically plastic; extreme temperature changes, hot or cold, play a roll in the breakdown and cracking of the materials. Basic use in general, also contribute to the breakdown as well. Generally, not considered a quality product.
Genuine Leather Attributes
Due to the PETA group, who think we shouldn’t eat meat, because they are vegan and don’t eat meat, have come against the cattle farmers in America. They consider providing meat for consumption and hides tanned for leather goods, as cruelty to animals. Eating meat, has been a part of human life, since the beginning of time.
Sorry, if that offends you, if you are a follower of the PETA mission. But I am a strong believer, if you don’t like this or that, it does not give you the right to take it away from someone who does like it. You just don’t eat it or don’t do it, whatever it is you don’t like. Animals are a food source for humans. I don’t approve of cruelty to animals at all. Cattle are a food source for protein and is for human consumption. The use of the hide for leather goods, rather than allowing it to go to waste is a plus.
Benefits of Genuine Leather Goods
With that said, the benefits of genuine leather goods give value to any product made from it. It’s a breathable material and even though the tanning process contains some chemicals usage, they usually don’t create a hazard to humans because the fumes are able to escape due to the breatheability of genuine leather.
In a nutshell, breathability refers to the ability of a fabric to absorb moisture and release it through the material itself, allowing it to breathe.
Genuine Leather does have a distinct odor, but it is not a toxic odor. I personally find the smell of genuine leather to be pleasant, luxurious, and the smell of money.
Some of the products made from genuine leather are:
- Car seats and interiors
Vegan Leather vs Genuine Leather Goods
Genuine Leather has been around for a long, long time and I believe here to stay. Genuine Leather have various qualities as well, depending on the item and use. It will wrinkle and some fading of color will occur overtime with use. There are many genuine leather cleaners and conditioners available. Both products will restore the item to like new condition.
Genuine Leather products can sometimes be expensive, depending on the quality and thickness of the material. On occasion, you will find products on sale for a very reasonable price. Genuine Leather Jackets usually go on sale at the beginning of Spring. Furniture stores usually have varied grades of genuine leather sofas and chairs, etc. Cars with genuine leather interiors usually bring more luxury to the value of the car.
Technology and processing applications will change as time goes on. Embedding the look, smell and feel of geniune leather, into a synthetic product would be necessary. Especially, if the industry intends to sell synthetic products to the consumer of (real) genuine leather.
I have genuine leather and faux leather jackets. My faux leather jackets look good, except one. It is starting to show breakdown around the back of the collar. I have really enjoyed wearing them for two winters. Admittedly, that’s faux leather for you!
If you find a faux leather product that you love and it fits your budget, enjoy. Just know that the day of breakdown will come and you just have to let it go.
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