Feature Image by Maid Milinkic

A leather jacket is a staple in every fashionista’s closet, along with a leather purse, belt, and boots.

But a real leather wardrobe might be made from a combination of animal skins like cow, goat, alligator, pig, or even buffalo, which results in the slaughter of millions of animals per year. Are you rethinking that leather skirt you’ve been eyeing now?

Luckily, there’s another versatile leather alternative for your #OOTD. Below, we’re breaking down everything you should know about vegan leather.

What exactly is vegan leather?
Most vegan leather is made from polyurethane, a polymer (or large molecule) that can be adapted to meet a designer’s needs for the same chic leather look. Other vegan alternatives include microfiber, pineapple leather, biofabricated leather, cork, paper leather, mushroom leather, waxed canvas, “mock croc,” and “fake snake.”

Why should you choose vegan leather?
There are several benefits to purchasing vegan versus real leather — it’s easy to produce, environmentally conscious, and cruelty-free. Making vegan leather cuts down on the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry and reduces pollution (water-fouling salt, lime sludge, sulfides, and acids) caused by the tanning process. So, yes, it is possible to be chic and environmentally conscious at the same time.

Where can I buy it?
Luckily, the movement for more sustainable and ethical fashion has grown in the past couple of years, making it easier to find environmentally-friendly options. Brands like Vince Camuto, Lulus, Coach, Free People, and more are creating vegan leather pieces that look just as nice as the real thing (plus, it’s a fraction of the price).

What vegan leather brand is your all-time fave? Let us know in the comments below!

xx, The FabFitFun Team