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.
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.
HOW TO MAKE LEAF LEATHER?
The process Tree Tribe uses:
Sustainably harvested Teak leaves are collected from fallen leaves. No trees are harmed in the process.
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.
The leaf layer is mended with cotton fabric to provide a soft interior backing and structure.
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.
With the leaf leather material complete and strengthened, it can now be sewn into any accessories imaginable.
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.
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
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: