What do you call leather when it isn't leather?
Part 2 of our part 3-series continues. Companies use the term 'leather' to describe products that aren't real leather. This can be misleading and very confusing for you as the consumer when purchasing leather products. The most common terms for non-leather are faux leather, pleather, and vegan leather.
So, what do they mean?
Pleather materials are typically made of the chemicals polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These are synthetic materials that can look and feel like real leather, but they are not as durable and flexible as real leather. PU and PVC are made from fossil fuels and PVC releases potentially toxic dioxins when burned. Neither material is biodegradable, their lifecycle is much shorter which will increase disposing of the products more frequently and therefore leaves a dangerous footprint on the environment.
Why are they these materials used in the latest fashions? Well, both materials are cheaper and when the material costs are lower it is easier to keep up with the latests trends and stay in budget.
The term “vegan leather” means not an animal product. There are many new “vegan” leathers that are made from natural materials such as cork, which has maintained its popularity for a long time and now we have kelp, apple peels and pineapple leaves. There are also some advances in algae as a new material. There are passionate individuals who are finding alternative solutions from real leather and their results are very creative, but the materials they are utilizing is not real leather but a substitute.
Here at Swatzell+Heilig, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality of Italian leather in every product we offer. See the difference in our collections today.