Fashion

Following Fur, Fashion Brands May Phase Out Leather Too

A recent poll finds that consumer opinion of the material has plummeted.

By
972 Hypes

As fashion houses including Prada, Gucci and Chanel take a stance against animal fur, phasing out leather may be the next step towards a more sustainable and ethical industry. A recent poll reported by Vogue Business shows that consumer opinion of leather has plummeted in recent years. Conducted by Morning Consult, a survey of 2,000 British and American residents showed that 37 percent of people in the UK and 23 percent in the U.S. think that leather is a “somewhat or very inappropriate material,” to use in clothing.

Though it remains to be seen whether brands will begin cutting down on leather, in response to consumer demands, labels like Stella McCartney and Veja have already found success using animal-free alternatives. Since the inception of her brand, McCartney has been staunchly anti-fur and leather, while sneaker brand Veja responded to customer requests and launched a biodegradable version of its popular V10 sneaker in October.

The possibility of brands “green-washing” their products poses a potential setback in the move towards more sustainable fashion. Popular leather alternatives including polyurethane and PVC are often described as “vegan,” yet are essentially plastic and petroleum based. PVC in particular releases toxic fumes, such as cancer-causing BPAs and phthalates. It’s also unclear whether the lifespan of genuine leather exceeds that of leather alternatives, potentially reducing waste.

Companies have begun experimenting with biodegradable, plant-based alternatives to polyurethane and PVC but their higher price and cardboard-like texture often turn customers off. As research continues and public opinion evolves, stay tuned for fashion’s response — a leather-free fashion week may be in the near future.

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Source
Vogue Business

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