There is an escalating use by brands and retailers of the term ‘vegan leather’ to describe faux leather, or pleather, or other leather-look alternative fabrics.
James&Co uses the terms ‘vegan leather’ and ‘vegan suede’ because we are a vegan business, we’re Peta-approved Vegan, and we have an abiding commitment to crueltyfree clothing. We’re keeping an eye on developments in the making of leather-alternatives from pineapples, mushrooms and others but at the moment they are not soft enough for jackets. Come the day they are, and we’ll move away from polyurethane to the plant-based alternatives.
We also observe the ‘no leather, no wool, no silk, no fur’ in everything we make.
Google ‘vegan leather jackets’ and the front page of the search engine brings up a list of wellknown brands all advertising their ‘vegan leather jackets’. It’s a good thing that there are fashionable leather-look jackets on the market to challenge the consumption of real leather jackets.
But it would be fair to say that nearly all those brands are not supplying their jackets because they’re vegan or have a commitment to crueltyfree clothing.
Why do we say that? Because they also sell real leather products, mainly jackets but also shoes and accessories in the case of some.
We didn’t search it all thoroughly, but it’s likely that many of the brands also offer products in wool or silk.
As we said, it’s a great thing that fashionable leather alternatives are available. But if you’re a vegan whose ethics include crueltyfree clothing supply, it helps to explore whether the brand or label advertising as ‘vegan leather’ is just describing the alternative fabric or whether it’s indicating that the brand is itself committed vegan.