Thursday, April 11, 2013

Leaning into It: Making the Switch from Leather to Faux

Vegan Fashion: Making the Switch from Leather to Faux Leather

In the past, I've never had a problem with wearing leather. I cherished my "real leather" handbag and fawned over the beautifully constructed "real leather" jackets and boots I saw in magazines or fashion blogs. Yet as I've recently set foot on my journey of "leaning into veganism" (thanks, Kathy Freston), the issue of wearing leather has become more and more problematic for me as both a vegetarian and animal lover.

As I begin my lean into veganism, a part of me feels strongly about doing away with leather from my wardrobe as well. So, I thought I'd share with you my first big step in the transition from real leather to faux: investing in a great faux leather jacket. 

As many vegetarians know, there are about as many faux leather jackets out there on the market as there are McDonalds, however not all are created equal. Many are constructed from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) a vinyl which contains formaldehyde, phthalates, heavy metals and other volatile compounds and is toxic to both people and the environment. I scoured the internet for the best looking, polyurethane (a less toxic, more eco-friendly version of fake leather) jackets on the market and here's what I found.

River Island Leather Look Jacket with Fringing, $108

TOPSHOP Biker Jacket, $100
Free People Quilted Sleeve Vegan Leather Jacket, $168

Rhyme Los Angeles Miller Vegan Leather Blazer, $89
River Island Leather Look Cropped Biker Jacket, $92
Free People Double Breasted Vegan Leather Jacket, $198

I understand some vegans prefer to not wear faux leather because although its not real, it somehow supports the leather trend by attempting to resemble it and thus, perpetuates our culture's disassociation of "leather" from where it really comes from. I understand this reasoning and perhaps further along my journey, I'll get to a stage where I'd like to purge myself of not just my leather belongings, but my faux leather ones, as well. Yet, for someone just starting out, I think using faux leather as a substitute for real makes for an easy transition from leather. 

So, for those that like the look of the leather jacket, yet would prefer to have it in a fabric as opposed to faux leather, I've found some great options for you, too:
HELMUT Medium Vintage Denim Biker Jacket, $344

Carven Contrast Woven Biker Jacket, $308

 What is your opinion on faux leather? Would you wear any of these jackets?

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