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black vegan pleather
5min read

How Is Vegan Leather Made?

by Fabian Jackson

5min read

Wondering what plant-based choices you can make in your wardrobe? Keep reading to find out how vegan leather is made, and where to find some of the best vegan fashion. So you can help the planet with every outfit (and look great doing it).

We know that lot’s of us go plant-based for environmental reasons. That’s reflected heavily in the clothes we buy and wear, too. For the same reasons that the production of beef requires lots of land, water, co2 and food, water and food, it’s naturally the same for the leather industry too. 

So what are some greener and cruelty-free alternatives?

The use of animal products in the fashion industry has been long contested. The fur industry in particular has come under huge scrutiny in recent years. As a result, large fashion power houses like Prada, Chanel and Burberry have vowed not to use fur in their lines. And now more and more fashion-conscious fans are becoming clued up on the leather trade, forcing brands to seek out alternatives to meet demand. 

How is vegan leather made?

Here are a few classic and cutting-edge techniques used to make vegan leather.

cutting vegan leather


Pleather, or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is one of the most widely used synthetic materials in the fashion industry and is usually the leather substitute you’ll find on the high street. It’s close in looks to leather, and its cost production is low. Sounds good, right? Though it’s worth noting, that because it’s plastic- based, it’s not the most environmentally-friendly option on the list.


There are some great innovators out there who are making biodegradable plant-based leathers from natural materials including cacti, pineapples, mushrooms and corn! At the moment you’ll generally just see them in high end stores. This is because they’re pricier to produce than their plastic counterparts, but we’re hoping they become more affordable and widely used soon. 

Biofabrication/ Bioleather 

The clever people at Modern Meadow, have come up with a material called bioleather. They edit the DNA of yeast to enable it to grow collagen. This is the protein in animal skin. After multiplying this they are able to make a liquid-leather that they can then form into any shape without having to cut and stitch.

Now, the fun bit. Where to find some great vegan leather fashion un the UK.

Chic vegan leather shoes and glorious vegan leather bags 

New Look

vegan high heels

These guys know their vegan footwear and accessories. As one of the first UK brands to release a vegan dedicated pages on their website, it’s only right they get a mention here. 

vegan leather hand bag

Doc Martens 

vegan shoes

Everyone’s punk best-friend, Doc Marten, has been making vegan boots for some time, so you’re in safe hands here. The collection comes in black and cherry, mostly with signature yellow DM top-stitching. You’ll find an effortlessly cool range of vegan boots, shoes, sandals and bags.

vegan leather backpack


yellow vegan boots

Haven’t heard of Monki yet? Well, you’ll want to now. They’re the high-street equivalent of the cast of Clueless. So it’s no surprise their vegan collection is fabulous. They’ve got cowboy boots, chunky trainers and loafers galore. When it comes to chic vegan bags, Monki is your friend.

vegan leather hand bag

Who knew that going green could be everyone’s colour? Check out this allplants article on 11 Ways to Reduce your Carbon Footprint next.

Let us know some of your other favourite vegan leather shoe and bag brands down in the comments sections.


By Fabian Jackson
Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

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