“An eco-friendly product could be a vegan product, but a vegan product is not always be eco-friendly”.
Talking about fashion, what comes to your mind other than the glamour you usually see in runways, fashion shows, or social media of popular actors or influencers. Let’s talk about the current fashion industry and narrow it to the leather industry. We all know this industry’s dark side; the goal is not to defame anyone, but it is better to keep yourself aware of things happening around you. According to the statistics, the fashion industry alone contributes 10 per cent to carbon emissions. You might be thinking, isn’t there any way we can maintain our ecosystem and the living creatures also. In order to not encourage cruelty, you can adapt to vegan fashion, but you should know that not all vegan products are good for the environment.
How Can Vegan Not Always Be Sustainable?
Vegan doesn’t always mean plant-based; veganism works on the principle of non-cruelty; it ensures that no animal is being killed in the name of a lifestyle like a diet, fashion, etc. Let’s talk specifically in the field of fashion; in a broad sense, vegan fashion protects the innocent creatures that humankind is willing to kill for their lifestyle.
Vegan fashion helps to minimise environmental destruction, but if you look at its depth, not every vegan product is sustainable or eco-friendly. Brands often use plastic, semi-synthetic fibres to produce their technically vegan products but are not eco-friendly or sustainable. Plastic/synthetic or semi-synthetic-based products produce microfibers that are harmful to the environment because they are non-biodegradable and consume a large amount of water during production.
Think about it; you bought a vegan bag that didn’t last long. Now, what will you do about it? You throw it away, right? Or else you will give it up for recycling. But the possibility of these products ending up in the dump filled or getting burned out is maximum. Which has become the cause of pollution in the environment. Under this content, we are compiling some of the alternatives of authentic leathers, which are eco-frindly also.
Six Vegan Alternatives Which Are Changing The Future Of Sustainable Fashion
Vegan fashion opposes the use of animal-derived products, so in this section of the article, we are discussing how vegan alternatives are changing the future of sustainable fashion. So let’s see some cut-edge alternatives which are being used in place of non-vegan fashion products.
1. Pineapple Leather
From its name, you might be thinking what pineapple leather, also known as “Pinatex”, made up of pineapple plants leaves, is. Pinatex is an excellent sustainable alternative to leather. There is no such use of pineapple leaves; they also do not require any extra land or water to grow, and they do not use finite fossil fuel resources like other alternatives like PVC, which are not even eco-friendly. Pinatex is not only eco-friendly, but it is sustainable too. It is used in clothing and will be pretty breathable compared to animal-driven leathers and could be used in producing a wide range of accessories.
2. Mushroom Leather
You might be wondering how mushrooms can turn into leather. “Phellinus ellipsoids” is a type of mushroom which is used for the production of mushroom leather. This fungus grows on tree trunks; it is not only eco-friendly but also water-repellent and non-toxic, making it a durable and sustainable product. It does not take any additional resources as they grow and feed themselves on tree trunks, so you can say the leather produced from this fungus will be pretty sustainable and of good quality. Fashion industries or companies can use mushroom leather to produce fashion accessories like bags that will be fully sustainable vegan handbags.
3. Biofabrication Leather
Biofabrication leather is the least known alternative that could be the future of sustainable, eco-friendly products which are also vegan. This leather is made up of essential proteins naturally obtained from the environment. This is grown inside the lab, and no animal product or toxic is being used in the production process. Although it is new to this kind, few people know about Biofabrication leather. So you can say this is an innovation in a sustainable fashion, which is vegan.
4. Spider Fabric
If you have done your search, you might know that silk has the highest environmental impact of any textile. Growing silk plants needs constant temperature, which consumes a lot of energy. A Japanese biotech firm has made an alternative to silk fabric. They claim that it is neither made up of silk nor petroleum-based fabrics like polyester; their product is made of “Brewed Protein”, which is soft and waterproof. So Spider Fabric does not consume much water and is also a good vegan alternative for sustainable fashion.
5. Orange Fibre
Think of a way of generating fibre through some waste; how to innovate it would be right. From the name of this fibre, you can guess what fabric it might be made up of. The orange fibre is produced from the waste generated by the orange juice industry. Annually around 1 million tons of orange waste is generated, an Italian company found innovation in this, and they made silk-like material by using the waste of this citrus fruit. Cellulose has been extracted from the pulp to create a silky fabric; you will be surprised to know that a well-known brand like H&M uses such innovation in some of its products.
6. Cactus Leather
Cactus leather is one of the widely used products in place of animal-driven leather, which is vegan and sustainable. Desert Cactus leather is durable, which makes it last longer and breathable in case it has been used in clothing. If any fashion accessories are produced using cactus leather, they will sustain longer. Desert cactus leather requires 20% less water, generates 42% less plastic waste, and is eco-friendly.
With the growing modernization, the fashion industry is increasing. And it is very important to keep the environment in mind, an ideal fashion product should not only be cruel-free, but it needs to be sustainable and eco-friendly. Although many growing businesses are innovating alternatives for sustainable fashion, some well-known big brands are also contributing. We should understand the need for the environment because sustainability is the future’s need and demand.