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What Are The Most Sustainable Alternatives to Animal Leather? Sustainable Fashion Tips

What are the most sustainable alternatives to animal leather and why should you stop buying leather?

Sustainable fabrics or materials that are sustainably grown, harvested and processed. In the ideal world, there would not be involved any:

  • pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides,
  • chemicals or toxic dyes,
  • forced labor, children, modern slavery,
  • sexual and physical abuse,
  • animal harm, abuse, or torture.

Farmers and workers across the whole supply chain would receive fair and a living wage. They would also work in fair and good working conditions.

the most sustainable alternatives to wool_Sustainable Fashion Tips

In their natural state, animal fur and leather are biodegradable. So what is the issue with leather?

Well, there are several but just name a few:

  • Leather tanneries are responsible for polluting water systems because of the toxic dyes.
  • Deforestation – when farmers clear tropical forests to make space for cattle.

In this documentary, you can learn more about the negative impacts of the leather industry on the environment and workers. If you have a strong stomach, watch some of these PETA’s videos.

I used to wear recycled fur and leather jackets but I am not comfortable wearing these materials anymore. It is not ethical, but I know that it is a personal decision and I am not here to judge anyone.

If you really want to wear leather, look for vintage garments at second-hand stores. It is the most ethical and sustainable way to purchase leather.

If you buy new leather clothes, choose a brand that is part of the Leather Working group. A not-for-profit membership organization that is trying to improve practices across the industry.

Examples of animal leather alternatives:

Ananda Zurich handbag.

BEWARE of SYNTHETIC VEGAN LEATHER which is made of PVC (polyvinylchloride) or PU (polyurethane plastic). 

They are just “sexier” names for plastic. You cannot recyclable them and they do not biodegrade. Their production depletes the planet of non-renewable natural resources.

Cork leather wallet. Source: Pinterest.
Which of the most sustainable alternatives to animal leather would you like to try?

Let me know in the comments below.

What Are The Most Sustainable Alternatives to Animal Leather? currently wearing swiss sustainable blog
  • Amber

    I really like all of the leather alternatives that are out in the market! These options that you highlighted all look like they are very good quality!

    I hope you are having a great weekend!



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    • Miri

      Thank you Amber! Have a wonderful weekend.XO

  • Jennifer

    I want to try pineapple or mushroom leathers!

    Curated by Jennifer

    • Miri

      The pinapple leather that I tried is more coarse than the mushroom one. But it looks like it will last long. ?? happy weekend

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