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These Vegan Leather Ingredients Will Blow Your Mind

| April 27, 2021, 06:00 PM

If you’re an animal lover, you may have some reservations about traditional leather. And for good reason.

Leather is made from cowhide. This is obviously not ideal, as it does require cruelty and the slaughtering of cows for the product. And if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, that’s not something that you’re into.

If you’ve been skipping on regular leather, you’ve probably searched for an alternative.

The closest thing you can get to cow leather is vegan leather. But that can mean a few different things, as there are different vegan leather products on the market.

If you’ve ever purchased vegan leather, you may not have known what was even in it. And it can vary, as there are many different types.

The ingredients that are in vegan leather just might blow your mind.

Mushrooms

Possibly the most shocking ingredient used in some vegan leather is mushrooms. Well, not technically the mushrooms themselves.

So just what is mushroom leather made of?

If you’re wondering how leather can be made out of mushrooms, you’re not alone.

Mycelium

So-called “mushroom leather” is actually made from a material called mycelium. Mycelium is kind of like the root system that grows mushrooms.

It exists beneath the earth’s surface, breaking down organic matter and recycling it. Sort of like the earth’s compost system.

It requires very little to grow, and the process can be done with sawdust, air, and just a little water. When woven together, these fibers have a very similar texture to real leather. This makes it a great alternative.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

Cork

Another natural material that’s great for making vegan leather is cork. No, it’s not just for your elementary teacher’s corkboard.

Cork is a material harvested from the soft bark of trees. It’s all-natural and toxin-free. Since it is soft, it’s very malleable and bendable.

Cork doesn’t mimic the texture of leather as closely, but it can be worked similarly to traditional leather. It has a smooth, sturdy texture that can hold up as well as other leather alternatives.

It has the added benefits of being much more lightweight than leather. Where traditional leather can easily weigh a lot, this makes it a great alternative. In fact, it’s so light that it floats.

PVC or PU

The most popular ingredient used in making vegan leather is PVC or polyvinyl chloride. It can also be made from polyurethane, also known as PU. These are both synthetic materials that are made from plastic. This is where the term “pleather” comes from, which stands for “plastic leather.”

This is where things get a little bit trickier. Both of these materials are made from chemicals through an industrial process with some serious chemicals. This has raised some environmental concerns as it is not exactly eco-friendly.

It also has its own health dangers that complicate things further.

The Dangers

Just as with any synthetic plastic materials, plastic forms of leather have some health concerns associated with them.

PVC is the bigger concern of the two. It releases dioxins, which are chemicals that are dangerous in confined spaces. They’re even more dangerous when burned.

This material also uses phthalates. Some of these phthalates are linked to an increased risk of cancer. They’re also just not great for the environment, either.

If possible, go with a more natural leather alternative.

Pretty Surprising

When you think of “pleather”, your mind probably jumps to a plasticky material, but you’re not sure what.

With the new science always advancing, there are bound to be even more vegan leather options available on the market for animal lovers.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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