Wearing leather has been an age-old practice that has dated back farther than any of us really know. Historical records are full of a wide variety of uses for this highly durable material. However, as society ventures further into a new way of thinking, some people are concerned that the use of real leather today has far exceeded its practical use. Whether they are animal activists or they’re just more into the newer and more modern materials available, it is an issue that is of growing concern for many.
As a result, a growing faux leather industry is gaining in popularity. Not only are the materials they produce beautiful and inexpensive, they have no doubt served a very practical purpose as well. There have actually been times when faux leather or vegan leather, as it is sometimes called, has been promoted as the responsible choice for our environment. In many cases, the faux product has been so well made that it can be difficult to determine the difference between it and the real deal.
This leads many to wonder if the leather industry is coming to an end. However, we are far from that happening. For a true leather aficionado, it is not even possible. For one thing, while there may be many benefits to the faux leather, it does not even come close to the true quality of the real deal.
How They Differ Physically
When you look at faux leather, you’ll notice a certain uniformity. While it may look nice on the surface, it doesn’t look natural; even its texture will look and feel a little different. Faux leather doesn’t have the warmth or the character to stand on its own like the real stuff. The final product looks exactly like every other piece that came off the machine.
On the other hand, real leather has a structure that is anything but average. When you touch it, you can’t help but to be drawn in by its natural smoothness. It is flexible, able to stretch and move in much the same way as real skin. That’s because it is real skin, not an imitation of it. And no manufactured product will have the same smell as that of real leather. It is natural and organic in every way.
How They Differ in Durability
Faux leather cannot come close to the durability of real leather. The real deal can last for years and only gets better with use. However, the opposite is true with the fake stuff. The more you use it, the more it will break down. With regular use, it will quickly lose its aesthetic appeal and its functionality, and before long, you’ll be looking for a replacement.
But wait! Some may claim that using real leather is bad for the environment. However, the facts speak for themselves. Because real leather is made from a natural part of the environment, the risk of chemical toxins released from them is very unlikely. In fact, the majority of real leather is produced from cattle that have been specifically raised for beef or milk; their hides would have been wasted if not used.
Most faux leather is made from polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These are substances that are produced by combining two different types of liquid chemicals together. In fact, those working with these toxins are required to wear chemical resistant clothing during the manufacturing process. This includes gloves, eye protection, and even respirators.
So, when the product reaches the end of its useful life, those same chemicals begin to release back into the environment creating toxins that would have never occurred in the natural world. These can have a negative impact on the environment. Even the process of making them can have a negative impact that can affect everyone around.
So, while it may be a noble idea to save the planet from man’s cruel ways, it pays to look deeper under the surface when deciding on whether real or faux leather is truly worth consideration. At first glance, it may appear that faux leather is a more economical and morally responsible way to go. But, when you take the time to consider the benefits of using real leather, it is easy to see that if you really want to save the environment, staying true to nature and all it provides is the smarter choice.