You don't need to be vegan to start preferring cruelty-free and environmentally friendly products.

There is a growing number of people wanting to live a more conscious and compassionate lifestyle and if this is you then, you'll be thinking about switching from animal leather to vegan alternatives.

But a big question for most people when it comes to vegan leather is whether they last.

What is Vegan Leather?

I've explored this in detail in a previous blog however in summary, vegan leather:

  • Is any product made from non-animal hide
  • Includes a wide variety of materials from PVC & PU (plastic) to fabrics and all plant-based materials

Harsh truth about many products coming under the banner of Vegan Leather

Unfortunately, the majority of products that are classed as vegan leather are made from PVC and PU. Both of these are plastic polymers and have devastating impacts on the environment.

PU is better than PVC however, both are made from fossil fuels and take many centuries to break down.

Even though you may feel great that no animal has been harmed, plastic is horrendous to the environment.

According to Greenpeace PVC is the most environmentally damaging plastic. The PVC lifecycle -- its production, use, and disposal -- results in the release of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals. These toxins are building up in the water, air and food chain.

Non-plastic Vegan leather alternatives

With innovation and technology we have seen the rise of various, plant based alternative to animal leather. These materials include

  • Karuna Dawn's Leaf leather
  • Pineapple leather
  • Cork leather
  • Banana Leaf leather
  • Corn leather
  • Apple leather
  • Mushroom leather

And there are more to add to this list.

But what about durability?

When talking about durability it's important to remember plant-based materials used to make vegan leather has only been around very recently when compared with animal leather that has been used for B.C.

The production of animal leather, whilst abhorrent, has had time for artisans to perfect their craft. There's no doubt that animal leather can last generations but there is a massive cost to take into account. It is not only more expensive but the damage and cruelty is indefensible.

Vegan leather made from plastic can last anywhere from 6 months to 5 years depending on how you take care of it.  It is a less expensive alternative so for some people, this span of time is durable enough.  I would avoid materials made from plastic as it just adds to our ever growing problem of plastic. 

Plant based leathers are comparably new however, in speaking with manufacturers and consumers who have purchased products made from the above stated materials, the feedback is promising.  If taken care of, handbags and wallets can last years, perhaps even up to 10 years. Like anything else, the more love you show your plant based accessory, the longer it will last. 

Karuna Dawn's Leaf Leather is also waterproof. It's incredible to note that the Teak leaves were used as roofing for villagers in Northern Thailand.


With so many kind alternatives to animal leather and greater advancements in technology, I would suggest investing in plant based leather accessories. Our Leaf Leather for example, is a great price point for an item that can last years. We have wallets for $49 and purses for $59 which is incredibly priced for an alternative leather item. In my mind this is a purchase that leaves your conscience clean.