Are you a vegan with environmental guilt because there seems to be only synthetic fiber alternatives out there (PVC is petroleum based and has multiple negative effects on the environment)? Or an environmentalist trying to stay away from any animal products and by-products (leather production and tanning is a major player in environmental hazards)? It’s hard, and you definitely can’t be perfect with the limited vegan and environmentally friendly options that have been widely available for years. But, thanks to our demand and the help of innovative individuals, more companies are finding eco-alternatives that meet everyones standards. Here are some of the vegan and eco-friendly fibre alternatives to look out for:
- PINEAPPLE LEATHER – Made out of the pineapple plants leaves, pineapple leather has been a recent favorite among people and companies looking for an eco-friendly, regenerative, cruelty-free animal leather alternative. Pinatex is at the forefront of pineapple leather and has worked its way into being a fashionable sustainable leather alternative on tennis shoes, purses, watches and more. This textile has far lower of an environmental impact, using the majority of the waste from the fruit industry, and the durability is rivaling!
- PAPER LEATHER – It may not sound possible because of papers known reputation as being delicate and easily ruined, but paper can actually be just as strong as leather. Check it out for yourself as this company is making durable paper leather backpacks that last, are water-resistant, can easily be cleaned and can also be drawn on. Paper isn’t the most sustainable fiber option if the demand is high and many trees need to be cut for it, but if it’s recycled or upcycled paper it’s way more eco-friendly than other options.
- RECYCLED RUBBER – There are a lot of companies upcycling old rubber and creating fantastic new products out of it. Since the material is already out there, and some of it isn’t biodegradable, the best bet would be reusing the rubber until it’s unable to be used anymore. It’s not the most sustainable option, but it’s better than letting it land in the landfill or dump!
- MUSKIN – Muskin is 100% vegetable layer peel that comes from the external part of the Phellinus Ellipsoideus – basically, it’s a giant mushroom! It is chemical free, oil free, and doesn’t use toxic tanning like leather does. It can be used to make shoes, bags, and accessories like most of the other leather-free counterparts. It has a suede-feel to it and can be made waterproof by using eco wax.
- CORK – Cork is a popular eco option since it is a renewable resource and doesn’t require trees being cut down. Cork is made from the outer-layer “bark” of the cork tree and is stripped without harming the trees life. Then the tree will renew it’s outer cork “bark” in a few years!