Woke Wardrobe Essentials: 12 Vegan Leather Alternatives To Revamp Your Vogue

Woke Wardrobe Essentials: 12 Vegan Leather Alternatives To Revamp Your Vogue

You must be aware of the ethical and environmental consequences of using animal skin for leather by now. This also adds to workers' health issues as well as the leather industry's large carbon footprint. As a result, innovation of vegan and environmentally friendly alternatives to animal leather has increased. This vegan leather is also used in fashion and other industries. Many options are now available to avoid using animal skin leather in favor of something more ethical and environmentally friendly.

There are several vegan leather alternatives that are as good as leather and do not harm the environment, ranging from synthetic microfibers to natural leather-effect fabrics made from fruits. We’ve compiled a list of a few vegan leather alternatives that have emerged from this industry and are used very frequently.
Waxed Cotton

Waxed cotton, commonly known as glazed canvas, is made by soaking cotton in wax. In the fashion industry, it is utilized as a cow leather alternative. Waxed cotton is an extremely malleable, waterproof textile that, unlike leather, is easily cleaned. This lowers the cost of specialized textile cleaning while also reducing the number of dry cleaning chemicals used.

Waxed cotton is ideal for water-resistant products such as accessories and outerwear garments, and is commonly used in jeans and bags due to its very resilient, hard-wearing, and long-lasting properties.

Cork Leather

Natural cork leather is crafted from the bark of the cork oak tree and is considered environmentally friendly because the entire tree is not cut down for producing the material. Cork leather is extremely long-lasting, waterproof, stain-resistant, and easy to care for.

Cork leather manufacturing, on the other hand, takes a long time. Before the bark can be harvested, the tree should be 25 years old, and it takes another 6 months for the tree to fully dry out before it can be used for production. The same trees can be harvested more than once every ten years, with a lifespan of roughly 200 years.Cork is cooked and steamed to make it extra flexible, it is cut into thin sheets and affixed to a supporting fabric, ready for use in the textile as well as fashion industries.
Recycled Rubber

Recycled rubber is the perfect vegan leather alternative and is widely used in several products, such as tires. According to a report, more than 300 million used tires are thrown in landfills every year, in the United States alone. Rather, several firms are attempting to make fashion and other products out of this abandoned rubber. Recycled rubber is known for its durability and is very easy to care for. It has a texture and feel like animal leather, making it an ideal eco-friendly vegan leather alternative for fashion items.


Paper is the least known vegan and eco-friendly leather alternative but is one of the best alternatives prevalent in the fashion industry. Paper leather is extremely durable and has a soft texture. The paper leather is made using the Mulberry tree leaves and many items, such as backpacks and clutches are crafted from it.


Pineapple leather, also known as Pinatex, is manufactured from the waste portions of the pineapple bush. These are perfect for handbags and various other accessories. It's a non-woven, natural textile manufactured from pineapple leaf that's incredibly sustainable because the raw material comes from the Philippines, where the fruit is abundant. Pinatex’s qualities include vegan, environmentally friendly, watertight, durability and ethical in that it provides pineapple farmers with another source of money.


Apple leather is a vegan leather alternative that is primarily utilized in the fashion industry and is increasingly making its way into home d├ęcor as well. Apple leather is made using left out parts of apple after production of apple juice, and even though apple leather resembles real leather in appearance, it has a papery texture. Instead of being wasted, apple waste is now hydrated, crushed, and mixed with a binder before being spread onto a canvas and molded into a PETA-approved, leather-like fabric.
Mushroom Leather

Mushroom leather, commonly referred to as muskin, is made from a fungus. The fungus is grown to the size and shape required for a particular design. It requires no toxic chemicals and is antibacterial, making it a vegan and environmentally friendly alternative to leather. Muskin is a tough, adaptable material that has already been used by fashion item manufacturers.

Wine Leather

Wine leather is a type of eco-friendly vegan leather manufactured from by-products of the winemaking process, such as grape peels and seeds. Wine leather is made using a toxic and solvent-free method. Many brands such as Vegea are making use of this leather to produce several products.


Bananatex is a banana-based vegan leather alternative and is the world's first waterproof and durable fabric. Strong banana fibers are stripped from banana trees for processing and the fibers are then turned into leather. It is made purely from banana plants without any use of pesticides and fertilizers and hence, is sustainable.

Tea Leather

Tea leather, commonly known as 'teather,' is a fantastic biodegradable leathery material made from fermented green tea by-products. It is created by converting food waste into raw materials, i.e. fermented green tea by-products. It is vegan, eco-friendly and similarly durable as animal leather. Tea leather is usually used in making fashion prototypes.

Coconut Leather (Malai)

Malai is another vegan leather alternative made of coconut. It is made from bacterial cellulose, sourced through India's abundant coconut waste. The cellulose is made from water waste in the coconut industry, which is subsequently processed to make the final Malai product. Malai is a PETA-approved product that resembles both paper and leather in texture and is used by various manufacturers to make gorgeous fashion items.

Coolstone Leather

Coolstone leather has a hand-feel comparable to paper and leather merged along with a smooth matte gray surface and is made from sewable thin pieces of slate stone. Despite its toughness, coolstone leather has a smooth and soft finish, and has been dubbed a strong competitor to replace the use of PU and PVC as a more sustainable and ethical leather alternative.


These are some of the best and easily available vegan leather alternatives that you can use in your day to day lives. Changes come from small things and if you haven't already started, this is a sign for you to bring changes to your lifestyle, while saving the earth.
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