Leather is tanned animal skin. Vegans are people who reject the use of animals as food. This includes meat and fish, as well as dairy products, eggs and honey. Therefore leather, down, silk or animal wool are also ethically unacceptable to vegans.
On the internet and elsewhere, cell phone cases or ladies’ handbags "made of vegan leather" are commonly sold. Since "leather" must be an animal product, vegan leather is not "leather". It consists of vegetable materials or plastics.
Vegan leather is especially sold as shoes. Leather is a very durable material and is an ideal raw material for shoes because it is breathable, tear resistant and insulating. It is not easy to achieve the same properties with substitute products.
In addition to "killing animals" for leather production, the argument is that toxic chemicals are handled during leather production. Hardly any product made from alternative materials comes without the use of chemicals. Today's tanneries in developed countries are no longer a health hazard. They are just as dangerous or harmless as all other manufacturing plants where chemical products are processed. Also, many materials that are natural, are also dangerous in processing and such cases are often argued very polemically. Vegan leather, which turns out to be a plastic product, certainly does not correspond to the origin ideals of vegans. However, the temptation is to approach inexpensive plastic products as "vegan".
On occasion, the term "vegetarian leather" appears. Vegetarians are people who do not eat meat. But milk, eggs etc. are consumed. Therefore, vegetarians are not as strict in their selection as vegans.
The same rules apply as for vegan leather. Vegetarian leather is not leather and may not be called leather. This can lead to mixing up the two terms - "vegetarian leather" and "Vegetable-tanned leather". The similarity of the terms can lead to confusion and must be clarified on a case-by-case basis.
- Bio leather
- Eco leather
- Wineleather - Wine Leather
- Muskin - MuSkin
- PeTA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals