Wearing leather can be a very hot topic among vegans. There are some vegans who choose not to wear leather and others that think that wearing secondhand leather is okay. So what really is the right answer? Is it okay for vegans to buy secondhand leather? Before we go into all of that, let’s look at some facts first.
What does it mean to be vegan?
Being vegan is a way of life that practices the exclusion of any form of animal exploitation. Vegans do not consume meat, poultry, fish, seafood, or any animal products such as dairy and eggs. Vegans do not use products tested on animals. They also do not wear any clothing made from animal skin or fur. Some vegans choose not to consume honey as this is a product made by bees. In other words, vegans will go as far as possible and practicable to avoid all forms of exploitation or cruelty to animals.
So why do people go vegan?
Simply put, vegans are masochists. They want to suffer. I mean, why would anyone choose seitan over steak? But all jokes aside, there are actually 3 main reasons why people go vegan.
- For the animals. If the buying stops, then the demand stops too. This ensures that fewer animals experience exploitation and cruelty.
- For the environment. Animal agriculture contributes so much to climate change and deforestation. Avoiding animal products is one of the most effective ways to lower your carbon footprint.
- For the health. A well-planned vegan diet is healthy and provides the health benefits that prevent chronic illnesses caused by the consumption of animal products.
Is vegan leather a viable option?
The term vegan leather can be quite confusing. What is leather made of if not the hide of an animal? Vegan leather can be entirely synthetic or can be created from a mixture of plant products and artificial materials. A lot of what is considered vegan leather is made of polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
You may have even heard of this material because it was popularly known as leatherette or pleather. But because these names gave faux leather a bad rep, the fashion industry turned to a term which encourages the socially-conscious to opt for it: vegan leather.
But is so-called vegan leather actually eco-friendly or just a marketing ploy? Since it’s made of many non-natural materials, these could be harmful to the environment just by how they’re processed. These non-natural materials could also contribute to plastic and other non-biodegradeable waste pollution.
Though the use of vegan leather does discourage the exploitation of animals, the process of making this material can be damaging to the environment.
Secondhand leather is actually the most ethical and sustainable option for animal leather. No new leather goes into the production of a piece of clothing, bag, or accessory which means fewer cows get slaughtered, yay! When you buy secondhand, it also ensures that the item you’re buying doesn’t go in the bin, but into your closet which prevents it from adding to the pollution problem. As well as leather being a biodegradable material,so it’s not going to be sitting in a landfill indefinitely. So by buying secondhand leather, you’re actually caring for animals and the environment.
In the end, it’s a personal choice and depends a lot on what your reasons are for adapting to a vegan lifestyle. So long as you’re putting some thought into your consumption there really are no wrong answers.
If you’re vegan and if you really want to opt out of buying leather, then that is also totally cool. But if you found this article interesting and want to find some secondhand leather, then head on over to lomasearch.com for some affordable and awesome options!