Leather as a Fashion Trend
In case you haven’t noticed: leather is super stylish, and it’s said to become THE „new“ thing in the following weeks/months.
Leather dresses, leggins, Jackets.. basically everything.
To be honest: I love leather, and I also like the aesthetics of it, but I was quite shocked when I read about this evolving trend and started to realize that there is leather everywhere indeed. Sure, it’s not all „real“ leather, but also vegan alternatives. But from my point of view, this isn’t really amazing either.
Some of you who might know me or have followed me for a while might know that my diet is plant based, being about 99% vegan and 100% vegetarian. I am a huge enthusiast about going vegan, living sustainable etc.
But yet, I do wear leather, which doesn’t make sense for many people.
In general, I believe than no animal or living creature should ever be harmed. For any reason. But as long as people don’t stop killing animals for what ever reason (which is mainly meat, at least here in Europe) I believe that an animal is best honored if we use every part of it. So not just the parts you can make a filet from (being vegetarian for more than 10 years I have no clue what part that may be), but also it’s bones and it’s skin.
Sure, I know that most leather products aren’t made from the leftovers from the food industry, but there are more and more brands evolving that try to do so.
But why even wear leather?
Well, for me it’s basically because it is an amazing material. It is one of the most long-lasting materials (if the quality is right of course), it breathes, it is durable, you can dye it in any color,… the list goes on eternally.
Going vegan a few years ago I have tried to stop buying any sort of leather, and f.e. bought fake leather shoes. I’m not a huge fan.
First of all, as soon as you sweat, your feet really sweat. They simply can’t breathe, there is absolutely no air circulation going on. Did you know that, depending on the material the vegan leather is made from, it can even cause cancer? As it is mainly made from plastics, there are many substances that, especially when heated up by body warmth or sun, release toxins.
Second, if you scratch the shoes or bag or what so ever, there isn’t really a way of fixing it. You can glue and paint it but... it won’t ever really look okay as a leather product does when you pamper it.
Third, the products are mainly made of poor quality, lasting a few years but never as long as a good leather product would. There are exceptions of course, but... very few.
Oh, and since micro plastic is a thing: Well guess what, you will spread tons of micro plastic. It’s not just your shoes but also your accessories.
To conclude what I’m actually aiming for: Leather is amazing, as long as it is only consumed consciously and with thought, it should be a product that will accompany you for several years if not decades, or a product that already exists, so up-cycled or thrifted.
I also love fake-leather leggings, and when it comes to small pieces like zipper-pulls, small embellishments etc., I am definitely pro-fake leather, but I wish there were more companies that would try to produce these products more sustainable, for example use ocean-waste plastics to create their pieces and make them long-lasting and therefore in a better quality.
BUT - and here comes the huge but - a trend is a trend because it doesn’t last long. Leather (no matter if real or fake, but if it is real to me this is even more important) should never be a product that you intend to only wear for one season. Or two. You should buy it as a life-time companion. I doubt that it is the intention of most companies right now to produce products that will do this for you.
Therefore - if you decide to go along with this trend, gladly do so, but look for thrifted items, buy pieces that you can also wear next year, and watch out for good quality!