Shoes, handbags, belts and jackets – these are just some of the wide variety of products out there on the market which are made of leather. Leather is considered a stylish fashion material and usually does not come cheap.
But with environmental consciousness taking center stage in our purchasing decisions and consumer choices, you may want to find out more about the different types of leather available out there and whether your choice of leather is truly an eco-friendly option.
One way of determining this is to check the product’s label and see if you’re buying eco-leather instead of synthetic leather materials.
So, what is the difference between the two, and is eco-leather truly the better choice for the environment?
Let’s take a closer look.
The origins of eco-leather
Consumer trends and preferences can play a very important role in the products supplied by manufacturers.
The same is true for the environmentally conscious consumers whose interest in seeking more eco-friendly solutions led to the creation of eco-leather.
These types of consumer movements around the world in recent years have caused retailers and manufacturers to change their product offering due to increased demand and offer eco-leather as a more sustainable option.
Eco-leather vs. synthetic leather
What are the differences between eco-leather and synthetic leather?
- Eco leather can be considered natural leather which undergoes a more eco-friendly process of manufacturing. This will include the use of water, tannins, and vegan products instead of other, more harmful chemicals used in the production process. What’s more, is that the tanning process is considered ‘vegetal’.
- Synthetic leather, also known as simil leather, is a leather material that’s created through industrial processes. Its creation entails the use of some chemicals which may be harmful to the environment.
Does eco leather have eco-friendly characteristics?
According to some sources and research, there appears to be implied improved environmental performance in the creation of eco leather because of the more natural components that go into making it. Therefore, it has a much lower environmental impact when compared to the creation of other natural or faux leathers.
The main characteristics of eco leather are:
- It has unique and non-uniform coloring
- It contains imperfections and its natural features are more prominent
- It is soft to the touch
- It is long-lasting
The eco-friendly choice
Next time you consider purchasing a leather product, make sure that you take a closer look at the label to see its method of production and whether you’re ultimately buying eco-leather or synthetic leather.
Their methods of production differ and the former is certainly more eco-friendly than the latter.
If you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll want to drive demand through your consumer purchases and this demand is often reflected in retailers and manufacturers offering more eco-friendly products. This is also true for eco-leather.
Whether you are buying a belt, a handbag or a pair of shoes, choose eco-leather and help preserve the environment.