We've been asked quite a few times, "What is vegan leather?" Or, "LOL, how can leather be vegan."
With the release of our latest wallet made from vegan leather, we thought we'd clarify any confusion.
Yes, according to the dictionary definition, if something is leather, then it is derived from animal skin. (Interestingly enough, in doing research for this article, I came to find that leather can also be a verb.) So looking at the term "vegan leather" on a very strict basis, you would render the pairing of those two words to be an awkward combination, at best.
We, however, would like to contend that what people are actually looking for when they want something made from leather, is that leathery feel. You know, that very specific texture and roughness. The fact that the product comes from an animal is not really of chief concern.
Ask yourself, when you're at a store shopping for a leather good, are you thinking, "Hey, this came from a cow. I got to have it," or is it more so, "Oh, this feels good. I'm going to buy this."
The vegan leather that we—and a handful of other cruelty-free companies—have sourced at 36 Chambers has the texture that we've come to associate with a leather good.
With that being said, if we assume that on a street-level the word "leather" has taken on a new meaning, our use of "vegan" as a modifier can be taken to mean that the origin of this leathery texture does not come from an animal. By the same token, we would use the term "animal leather" or "animal-derived leather" to communicate leather goods that use animal hide in their construction.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments. If you're interested in our goods made from vegan accessories, you can check our Cream Debossed Veather™ Wallet. The wallet comes free with the purchase of a dress shirt, sweater or bag.