The Secret Life of Vegan Leather
Bet You Didn’t Know This…
At von Holzhausen, our north star is lowering carbon emissions to fight global warming. We do this through material innovation, or creating new materials from existing resources like recycled content and plants. We also concentrate on replacing PVC wherever possible. To that end, here are two things we wish everyone knew about vegan leather.
Vegan doesn’t always mean sustainable
Shocking, right? You’d think anything that lowered livestock production would automatically be good for the planet because it reduces greenhouse gasses. But if you’ve ever worn pleather clothing or accessories, you know they’re notoriously hot, sticky and uncomfortable. That’s because they’re made of plastic.
As you probably know, plastic is an environmental nightmare. The process of making it requires fossil fuels, which can’t be extracted or transported around the world without heavy carbon emissions. It’s also manufactured to be indestructible, which means it can linger in landfills for up to 450 years.
Some bio-based materials have an undisclosed secret
Here’s a scandalous fact you probably haven’t heard.
Leather created from apples, cacti or mushrooms sounds ideal from a climate-science perspective. However, it might also be treated with a topcoat made from… plastic. That means it still requires fossil fuels, could potentially pollute our oceans—and may look and feel like a fruit roll-up from your elementary school lunchbox.
This is why we’re so proud of Banbū Leather (an eco superstar because it requires no land-clearing and very little water to make) and Liquidplant, our solvent-free topcoat. The latter includes an additive that’s basically catnip for microbes (the tiny microorganisms that live in landfills just waiting to munch on debris).
These innovations helped us achieve 100% biodegradation in a landfill condition. We’ll never stop working on solutions like this, and we couldn’t do it without you. Whether you’re here as a consumer or a partner, watch this space to track our progress.