Of course, plastics are petroleum based, which means we want to use them cautiously. It's great that they are made without the exploitation of animals. However, there are other environmental factors that we should think about when we buy goods made from these materials. This also means that the production methods, biodegradability, and durability are extra important. This is why choosing beautifully crafted PU vegan leather products over those made from PVC vegan leather is a far more ethical choice. Let's explore what makes the difference.
"We avoid PVC at all costs. We proudly manufacture 100% Synthetic Polyurethane (PU) Vegan Leather for all of our handbags to support vegan fashion, pro-environment, and cruelty-free lifestyles."
How is PVC Vegan Leather Made?
PVC is used to make the majority of vegan leather products, while being the cheapest synthetic leather to produce. The process that is used to create PVC – short for Polyvinyl Chloride – involves chemically altering vinyl. This means adding chemical plasticizers and fillers to make vinyl more pliable, and change the texture, color and feel. While PVC is vegan, it's production is not very eco-friendly, and when it gets old and begins to break down, the story gets even worse.
Making PVC releases dioxins, which are known to be highly damaging to nature, animals, and us. These compounds can disrupt hormones, interfere with development and the immune system, and even cause cancer. They often contain phthalates, which are another type of cancer-causing chemical – which is no good at all!
Once PVC products get old and tired, they are very difficult to recycle. While real leather takes around 50 years to decompose, PVC will take a scary 500 years, or even longer. What's more, when it does decompose it still won't be done causing harm. This type of plastic breaks down into tiny microscopic little bits of plastic which wash into our water ways and oceans. Thankfully, not all plastics are created equal!