When it comes to synthetic alternatives to popular products, one of the first things that pop up is synthetic leather. From jackets to handbags, many vegans are looking for cruelty-free alternatives to this durable material. However, not many people are aware of the different terms. One of these terms is PU Leather. What is it, how does it compare to faux leather? Is PU Leather Vegan?
What Is PU Leather?
PU Leather generally stands for Polyurethane leather. This type of leather is made out of a synthetic polymer that is easy to manipulate and make to order. However, it is good to note that there is a difference between PU leather, and PU-Coated leather. Both of which might also be under the term “PU Leather.”
PU-Coated Leather is actual leather, but has a polyurethane coating. This can become rather confusing to people who are simply trying to purchase products online without the cruelty. So if you are buying items online that are made with Polyurethane leather, try to look for something that either says “100% synthetic” or “vegan”
PU Leather Vs Faux Leather
This is a hard comparison to make, as there are many different types of “faux leather” on the market. Many are made out of PVC, which is a type of plastic. However, it is not uncommon to find faux leather products made out of Kelp or Corks. These more natural faux leather products are kinder on the environment, as they are made out of more biodegradable products.
However, it is good to know the differences between PU Leather and PVC Leather. PU Leather is generally just a layer or two of PU with a non-woven background. It is lighter and more breathable than PVC leather. It works well in colder clients and is more elastic than PVC.
However, it also does not fare well in the heat and humidity. It also has an tendency to break easily, causing pieces to flake off. Due to not having certain materials that PVC has in their coating, they degrade over time. You might not want this product, which is generally cheaper, if you value durability.
PVC is a flexible plastic resin usually referred to as vinyl. It is often combined with fillers to change the texture, color, shape, and effects. Unlike PU Leather, the back of PVC Leather has a woven or knit backing. It is also moisture resistant, flame resistant, and more durable than PU. So it can be far better long term than PU leather, but both are vegan.
Although PU is more environmentally friendly than PVC. Buying a more natural substance, like kelp, or corks, will work out better in the long run. Finding a vegan alternative for leather is just one thing that a new vegan can do. It helps the animals and causes less unnecessary suffering.
What can be made with PU Leather?
You can make anything from PU Leather that you can make from regular leather, and more. With PU, you can add certain characteristics, like shine, sparkles, and such, that make the product shine. You can make handbags, shoes, coats, car seat covers, and even chairs using this material.
Is PU Leather Vegan?
Leather is one of those things that many people like. This is mainly due to its durability and warmth. It is used for shoes, boots, wallets, and even handbags. However, since an animal dies in the creation of regular leather, finding an alternative can be paramount. So when it comes to finding a vegan alternative, is PU leather an option?
The main issue with PU Leather is that this term is used to describe two different things. This can become somewhat confusing if you are new to veganism in general. PU Leather can refer to Polyurethane leather, which is 100% synthetic and is vegan in nature. However, it can also refer to leather that is fortified with a polyurethane backing.
It also doesn’t end there. Many companies importing these goods from places like China, where they are made far cheaper. This can cause the animal leather to not even be made from cows, but rabbit, cat, dog, or even rat hide. This can cause more animals suffering the long run if you buy the wrong product.
PU itself is a polymer that can be manipulated and made to order. This makes it cheap and affordable, but can suffer from being brittle. So if you want something a little more durable, finding another form of vegan leather might do you some good.
Does PU Leather contain animal products?
Aside from the animal leather that is backed with PU, the 100% synthetic variety does not contain any animal products. PU Leather is made out of various chemicals and fillers to give it a certain texture and look.
However, that does not mean that no animal products went into the creation of it. Polyurethane is a plastic, which is generally made from Petroleum by-products. Petroleum is made out of fossil fuels, or buried and decomposed animals that have been dead for millions of years. Albeit, you may not have to worry about that, as most vegans don’t focus on that.
How to replace all the leather in your wardrobe with vegan options?
While it is not the best vegan alternative to leather out there, it is still a vegan alternative. It has a smaller price tag than most other vegan leathers too. This can help you to make a smarter decision regarding animal welfare. So if you are looking for a vegan leather, it is best to ask the store manager about it. You can also look online for good options. When in doubt, go for PVC, kelp, or cork-based vegan alternatives to PU.