If you’re a lover of leather but looking to make a change for the better of the animals, you may be hesitant. What does fake leather look like? Will it wear like my favorite regular old leather?
And will it last?
Traditional leather alternatives like PVC (polyvinyl chloride) are, well, plastic. They’re called “pleather” for a reason. They consist of either special vinyl, or just fabric coated in plastic material. Though these look like leather, they don’t always wear like leather.
And because the “leather” part is just a coating, they are prone to bubbling and wear and tear.
If pleather has left a bad taste in your mouth about fake leather, we’re here to inspire more hope about fake leather.
These leather alternatives will actually last. We promise.
Does mushroom leather? In short, it does.
Mushroom leather is actually made from the “roots” of the mushrooms that are known as mycelium. This is a web of fibers that lurks underground, composting organic matter and providing nutrients to the plant life above it.
It also grows mushrooms. And it makes some good-looking, long-lasting fake leather.
Yes, this is the literal cork that you can find on a corkboard.
Cork actually can be formed into a flexible material that feels and looks a little bit leathery. It won’t look exactly like traditional leather, but it comes close enough.
This material is waterproof, lightweight, and bendable enough to last you a while without drying out like regular cow leather.
This fake leather works double-time as it is made from the byproducts of coconut manufacturing.
Using both the husks and wastewater created during coconut processing, coconut leather is extremely sustainable and waste-free.
When you think of a coconut husk, “durable” is probably a word that comes to mind. Coconut leather is just as long-lasting as the husks it’s made from.
Even though it’s also incredibly durable, coconut leather is also compostable and biodegradable.
If you’re thinking about the traditional leaves that you go out of your way to step on during the fall (who doesn’t love that crunchy feeling?), you may think we’re crazy for adding this to the list.
The leaves we’re referring to are actually huge palm and banana leaves. These are used as a leather alternative because these trees are waterproof and able to withstand tropical storms.
That’s pretty durable if you ask us.
This is not one you’ll want to use for, say, a jacket. But rubber does last forever.
Recycled rubber is used to make alternatives to those hard leather accessories you know and love. It usually comes from things like old tires and even rubber hoses.
If your style is on the edgier side and you’re looking for a strong alternative to your favorite leather cuff, go for this one.
Tree Bark Leather
Similar to cork, tree bark leather is made from, you guessed it, the bark of trees.
This material is bendable, takes dye well, and of course is all-natural. The woodgrain in this timber-derived leather adds a unique touch to it that is sure to make your fake leather garment stand out.
It can also be cut as thin as some of the thinner leathers for a very natural look.
Leather Alternatives can Outlast Traditional Leather
One of the less desirable things about leather (aside from the cruelty) is that it can dry out and crack over time. Anyone in an arid climate can tell you from experience that this will ruin your garments.
With these creative and sustainable leather alternatives, you can get a long-lasting leather look while saving the planet.