ethical vegan bags

FASHION

Leaf leather bags & wallets - Green Fashion

A few years ago, while searching for new alternative vegan leather options to introduce to Velvety, we found :

LEAF LEATHER


We suddenly felt the urgency to find out more about this new type of plant-based leather and which products were already in the market, then we discovered two great brands already making amazing leaf leather wallets, bags and accessories. Tree Tribe & Thamon.

what is leaf leather

So now we are going to explain you what is leaf leather and why we finally decided to introduce it at Velvety by answering the big questions!


WHAT IS LEAF LEATHER?

“Leaf leather is an innovative plant based leather alternative made from tree leaves. It's better than traditional leather because it's more environmentally friendly and created from trees so it doesn't require harming animals. It can also be made just as strong and durable as animal leather, and even water resistant like our own Tree Tribe Leaf Leather.”

  • Explains Joe from Tree Tribe.

leaf-leather-fashion

HOW TO MAKE LEAF LEATHER?

The process Tree Tribe uses:

  1. Sustainably harvested Teak leaves are collected from fallen leaves. No trees are harmed in the process.

  2. The leaves are soaked in water, dyed, then arranged flat together and set out to dry, which bonds the leaves and provides a large sheet of the leaf material.

  3. The leaf layer is mended with cotton fabric to provide a soft interior backing and structure.

  4. A thin translucent outer layer made from a non-toxic BOPP film is applied that seals the leaf layer and protects it while maintaining the texture and feel of the leaves. This layer also provides water proofing, durability, and longevity. While not perfect (yet), when incinerated BOPP film only gives off water vapor and carbon dioxide.

  5. With the leaf leather material complete and strengthened, it can now be sewn into any accessories imaginable.

leaf leather wallet

WHY LEAVES AND NOT LEATHER?

“Leaves are a beautiful organic material. As they come in unlimited shapes and forms. The reclaimed expired leaves are treated with an environmentally friendly polymer to restore and enhance the leaves' properties for creating our leaf fashion accessories. No toxic treatments or dyes are applied. They are lightweight yet highly functional and durable. “

  • Explained by Thamon.

    “More environmentally friendly than animal leather and faux leather.”

  • Explained by Joe from Tree Tribe.

leaft leather

HOW ETHICAL IS THE PROCESS?

Both companies provide income to the communities involved in the harvest of the raw materials. The leaf leather crafting process is an ancestral hand made art from Thailand, where both companies produce their products ensuring a fair income to support the living of these skilled artisans.

Also both companies are committed to cruelty free practices and ensure that no animal products are involved in any stage of the production. Meaning that all their products can be categorised as vegan.



And the best part?

Leaf leather can be really strong and durable, that’s why if you take good care of your bag or wallet, it can last for many years.

WE CHOOSE LEAVES OVER ANY KIND OF LEATHER, AND YOU? :)


  • DISCOVER TREE TRIBE

  • DISCOVER THAMON

Another amazing plant-based material we really love is PINATEX, made from pineapple leaves!

If you want to know everything about it, please have a look at our latest post:


The information within the post was kindly provided by:

https://treetribe.com/

https://thamon.co/

FASHION

Sustainable Vegan Bags - WHAT IS VEGAN LEATHER?

VEGAN BAGS

ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE FASHION

 

Nowadays, there are quite a few fashion brands all over the world making vegan bags, it's not difficult to find them, it's also not too difficult to find a great variety of designs and styles. 
However, it becomes a bit more difficult when you are trying to find a bag that is vegan and also ethically made, eco-friendly and sustainable.

 

First thing to consider:

WHAT IS VEGAN LEATHER

"Many major vegan leather brands claim their products are made of ‘eco friendly’ PU (Polyurethane) microfibers, used because their ‘feel’ is similar to that of leather, and it can be imprinted with grains that mimic suede and natural skins. But make no mistake–there is no such thing as ‘eco friendly’ PU.

In the production of microfiber-based synthetics, textiles and polymers are often layered together and compressed several times through metal rollers, then submersed in a coagulation solution to solidify. This chemical process requires excessive levels of toxic substances like dimethylformamide, which has also been linked to cancer and birth defects, and acetic acid, high doses of which can damage skin and eyes."

----

"Despite these eco-horrors, many eco-warriors find vegan leather production even worse. For example, the manufacture and incineration of PVC-based synthetics produce one of the most toxic chemicals known to man: dioxins. Found in almost every single modern human’s body, dioxins promote developmental disturbances and increase cancer risks tenfold.

Since plastic-based synthetics don’t fully biodegrade, they produce micro-particles that are ingested by animals and thus enter the food chain at all levels: even Arctic polar bears have been found to have dioxins in their bloodstream. When it does break down, vegan leather releases phthalates—initially added as a softening agent—which subsequently enter the food chain and the atmosphere, causing breathing problems, breast cancers, hormonal disruptions and birth defects."

-Eluxe Magazine

 

Want some more info? 
https://eluxemagazine.com/magazIne/what-the-heck-is-vegan-leather/
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-dark-side-to-vegan-leather-is-far-from-ethical-20170314-guxkn4.html


SO THE QUESTION IS...

Are we helping animals by choosing a bag that is not made of leather but microfiber instead?

Yes, of course we are!

But...are we helping the environment too?

The answer is...no.

And also...something very important! Are we paying for a bag that has been made by happy workers? Workers that get the right salary wages and conditions?


Sometimes we just want to make our purchase easy and feel good by knowing that we are supporting a vegan brand that cares about animals, however sometimes we just need to spend an extra minute trying to find that item that really ticks all the ethical boxes. It will be always your choice, but you need to know that it is a choice!

 

To help you in this search we created Velvety

An ethical, sustainable and of course vegan store that will make your eco vegan purchases easier! At Velvety you can find a selective range of bags, wallets, backpacks and more
that are handmade, ethically manufactured and sustainable. We do not carry bags made of 100% vegan leather, we only carry bags made of cork, upcycled materials, real leaves and pineapple leather. We care about animals, the people and the environment
and that's why we decided to only focus on real eco-friendly bags and accessories.

Have a look at our range and get inspired by colours, materials and textures :)

Vegan cork cutches

CLUCTHES

MADE OF CORK, LEAF LEATHER & UPCYCLED MATERIALS

pinatex bags

BAGS & HANDBAGS

MADE OF PINATEX, CORK, LEAF LEATHER & UPCYCLED MATERIALS

Vegan backpacks

BACKPACKS

MADE OF ALL SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS

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