Why Vegan Leather Is Offensive

vegan-leatherWhy are you calling it vegan leather? If it is leather, it can’t be vegan. Why don’t you call it what it is? It’s faux leather, imitation leather, leatherette, fake leather.

The ‘You’ I refer to above are those companies that are jumping on the “I’m doing good things for the world” bandwagon by using the term vegan leather, instead of calling it what it is, a synthetic fabric made to look like leather.

So why do I care? Well, to me, the term vegan leather is an oxymoron. It contradicts itself. It gives off an air of superiority and social and environmental consciousness that isn’t always true. I get it. I see why companies do it. The term vegan leather is just another marketing tactic to sell more products. Companies are simply marketing to people who want to be environmentally and socially conscious, even though making synthetic fabrics taxes the environment just as much, or more than traditional leathers.

But it offends me that these companies think I would buy into a term like vegan leather. I can understand those people who choose not to wear animal products. I completely understand people who believe it is cruel to use animals for human consumption (in food or fashion). But if they strongly oppose using animal products, are they really going to wear something that looks and feels like an animal product? Or is vegan leather actually for the girl who goes to a vegan restaurant and orders the fake meat substitutes? (It looks and tastes like chicken.)

Lately, the fashion industry has seen a major surge in the use of faux leather. But many of the designers shy away from calling it vegan leather because they are not making their designs singularly for the cruelty-free crowd. Others use the term because it denotes being environmentally and socially conscious, even if that is not always true.

Some would argue the term vegan leather has an air of superiority, and some designers want to avoid that. Rather, designers who use faux leathers, but don’t call them vegan, see the benefits and versatility of these imitation leather fabrics—they are easier to care for and maintain than real leathers and suede.

So what is vegan leather anyways? Do you see the term as an oxymoron like I do? And will you jump on the faux leather train leaving the fashion station this spring?

Regardless of what you call it, I was surprised just how chic faux leather can be. Here are just some of my favorites featuring faux leather.

  1. Heels – $509
  2. Jacket – $168
  3. Tote – $98
  4. Dress – $110
  5. Top – $80
  6. Skirt – $40
  7. Top – $141
  8. Sandals – $30


  1. Do your own thing and what you feel is right. I am tired of finding most of the real leathers in coats limited to black, brown or beige.

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