New research shows that global demand for faux leather footwear, furnishings, and automotive interiors will create a spike in the animal-free materials market, as a recent survey found the faux leather industry to be worth a whopping $85.05 billion by 2025.
The study by business consulting firm Grand View Research revealed that China, India, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam will drive the demand for animal-free leather due to rising interest for affordable footwear in those countries. The report states: “As textile technology is evolving, consumers are preferring vegan fashion, which refers to adopting non-leather products.”
Polyurethane was identified as the fastest growing material in the sector due to its durability, low cost of production, and water-resistant qualities. In recent years, car manufactures such as Tesla and Ferrari have developed vegan interiors due to customer demand for cruelty-free options, and companies such as Piñatex—which creates faux leather materials from pineapples—have created innovative alternatives to animal hides.
Consumers today are much more conscious of the ethics of what they’re buying. High on the list is an approach to fashion which takes care of the environment and the people who make the things we wear. And this is where vegan leather comes in.
So, what is vegan leather, and why is this natural leather alternative booming?
Most vegan leather is made of polyurethane, a polymer that can be made to order for any designer’s fancy. The best examples, as mentioned before, include Piñatex and cork leather. Pinatex is made from the fibres of pineapple leaves and has already been used on the red carpet. Cork leather, which has a very long list of benefits, has also made its debut in high fashion thanks to the big names such as Calvin Klein, Tory Burch and Stella McCartney.
It has been estimated that over the last 10 years the number of British vegans and vegetarians increased by 360%, and combined with the number of people who eat meat but are against animal cruelty, it comes as no surprise that fashion is becoming more vegan. And why wouldn’t it be? Especially when vegan leather can be saturated in all kinds of shades that put real leather to shame.
We’re merely skimming the surface when it comes to cruelty-free materials in the fashion industry; stay tuned for our blog next week on an array of vegan materials finding their way into the industry. And in the meantime, find your very own vegan leather watch from the incredible Votch here at Ethea.