Cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainable? Yes, please!
There are plenty of facets when it comes to fashion sustainability. We can discuss the pollution created by fast fashion companies, the ever-evolving and quick turnaround of microtrends, and the unethical uses of animal products like leather and fur. Over the years, as consumers have gotten more conscious of their purchasing power and lifestyle, most have opted to switch to vegan materials. Fortunately, fashion brands caught on and started doing the same. The luxury brand Stella McCartney is one of the first major luxury brands to swear off unethical fashion practices. Since day one, their products are completely free of leather and fur. Their commitment to innovate their products without compromising the environment is a commendable feat. It further proves the notion that going eco-friendly and sustainable in fashion is possible.
Using cruelty-free leather sounds like a very good idea but believe it or not, there have been ongoing debates about whether PVC faux leather is as good as it sounds. Sure, it’s vegan but PVC materials are technically plastic materials and if there’s anything we learned throughout the years of fighting the climate crisis, is that plastic is not the better option. So what now, you ask? Well, luckily, with the continuous advancement in technology, some have figured out a way to avoid animal and PVC leather. Below are creative ways the fashion industry has avoided both.
Forbes claimed mushroom leather as the new market disruptor in the fashion industry. Mushroom leather is made from the vegetative part of the fungus, called mycelium. The process of making mushroom leather is completely sustainable because of its biodegradable properties. In addition, this new material lessens the need for industrial animal agriculture. Brands like Stella McCartney, Lululemon and Adidas are a few of the brands known for their recent use of mushroom leather.
Cactus or nopal leather was first introduced by the Mexican brand Desserto in 2019. After two years of research and development, Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez developed a new leather alternative called Desserto®. This plant-based material is known for its soft texture and its partially biodegradable qualities. Desserto® is made without toxic chemicals, phthalates, and PVC. To learn more on why cactus is a great organic alternative to leather, you can visit their website here.
Other plant-based alternatives are Piñatex, a type of leather made out of extracted pineapple leaves, and AppleSkin leather, which is made of– you guessed it– leftover apple skins from juicing apples. Soon, the fashion industry will find no reason to use animal byproducts. Innovation, research, development and genuine environmental consciousness will relieve us from further damaging our environment.
Published by HOLR Magazine.