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Shop 53 rue Saint André des Arts, Paris 6th - Email: Hello@charlie-paris.com - Tel: 0967411237

Store 53 rue Saint André des Arts, Paris 6th - Email: Hello@charlie-paris.com - Tel: 0967411237

Vegan Leather: What is it?

Smooth leather, grained leather or even ostrich leather, there are many types of leather but do you know vegan leather? We have decided through this article to present vegan leather to you.

  1. Vegan leather, Vegetable leather, Faux leather, what is behind these names?
  2. What are the "vegan" materials that make up what is called vegan leather?
  3. How to recognize vegan or animal leather?

  4. And is vegetable leather the same as vegan leather?


1. Vegan leather, Vegetable leather, Imitation leather, what is behind these names?

Firstly, vegan leather as such does not exist! Indeed, the name of leather is regulated by the French consumer code and designates a material which is necessarily derived from animal skin. Conversely, "vegan" means a method of consumption excluding all products from animals or their exploitation. So vegan leather is an oxymoron and has no meaning as such but it allows to designate all materials similar to real leather without having a link with any animal (this material is therefore not not tested on animals either).


2. What are the "vegan" materials that make up what is called vegan leather?

Synthetic materials

Synthetics are generally derived from plastic, this is the famous "imitation leather" made from PVC or PU. Imitation leather is a material obtained by adding a mixture of petroleum plasticizer and vinyl powder to fabric. This treatment is done in several layers so that this material has the appearance of "real" leather. However, this type of production requires the use of several plastic derivatives which can release toxins dangerous for the environment and people in contact with this material.

According to Philippe Denis, lecturer in a fashion school, the majority of vegan leathers remain petroleum by-products, therefore having a high carbon footprint.

Vegetable matter

In recent years, alongside the vegan trend, we have seen the emergence of new plant-based materials imitating leather. Thus it is possible to find fake leathers made with pineapple leaves, mushrooms, apples, tea, or even sap.

Small zoom on the most famous of them:

  • The piñatex

Created in the 90s, the Piñatex was born following studies carried out by Carmen Hijosa. This type of vegan leather is produced by felting the fibers contained in pineapple leaves. The pineapple leaves used for this vegan leather are only waste from the Pineapple harvest. So this technique is a sustainable technique because it does not require planting something new. Unlike synthetic imitation leather, Piñatex is a breathable material, but is not currently used in textiles.

  • Muskin

Resulting from the contraction between Mushroom and Skin which in French means mushroom and skin, Muskin is a "vegan leather" which uses the cap of a large parasitic fungus called Fomitiporia ellipsoideus which grows in subtropical forests. One of the advantages of this material is that it is also breathable like traditional leather, it is able to absorb and release water molecules. However, this vegan leather remains an expensive material to produce and difficult to obtain today because only one company, "Grado Zero", produces it.

  • A little last to finish!

Grape leather is a type of vegan leather that is made with waste from the wine industry. The Vegea company, based in Italy (a country which produces no less than 18% of world production), had the idea of ​​using grape marc (the residue that remains after the grape has been pressed) to make a material similar to leather. This vegan leather is still very recent and is not marketed, we are starting to see the first prototypes through the creations of Tiziano Guardini. In Italy, 7 billion kilograms of pomace are produced each year and if it were processed, up to 3 billion square meters of vegan leather could be produced. The company even received the Global Change award from the H&M Foundation.



We are therefore witnessing a real desire on the part of consumers and businesses to act in a positive way on the planet by changing the way we consume. However, it seems important to us to mention that at present, even on vegetable-based vegan leathers, more than half of the composition of these materials is a resin obtained from petrochemicals, which therefore has a significant impact on the product. 'environment. This resin increases the strength of these materials. But we remain confident, within a few years the techniques will undoubtedly have evolved and will make it possible to remove these plastics from these vegan leathers.


3. How to recognize vegan or animal leather? 

Most of"Vegan leathers" are certified by labels to assure consumers that the products have no contact with animal exploitation. The best known and one of the oldest vegan labels is the Vegan Society.

Visually, vegan leathers can fool more than one! Indeed, vegan leathers undergo an impression before being marketed, making their appearance really similar to leather. This is especially true for pineapple or grape leather. However, it should be noted that leather made from animal skin can acquire a beautiful patina over time (especially if it is vegetable tanned leather) unlike vegan leathers.

To check if the material in question is leather or vegan leather, you just have to smell the latter. This test (although unconventional) will allow you to quickly find out what type of leather it is. A genuine leather piece will have that leather smell that we all know. Conversely, vegan leather will either be odorless or will have a plastic or chemical odor, this is particularly the case for synthetic leatherette. Whatever type of leather you use, we recommend that you clean your leather watch strap.r to take the best care of your watch. At Charlie Paris, we offer you different types of leather such as grained leather or ostrich leather.


4. And is vegetable leather the same as vegan leather?

You will understand that vegan leather is not to be confused with vegetable leather or vegetable tanned leather. In fact, when we talk about this type of leather, we are talking about “genuine” leather, therefore derived from animal skin, which is however tanned with organic tannins and not more polluting mineral tannins. There are therefore differences between chrome tanning and vegetable tanning.l. We use these two types of processes for our interchangeable watch straps

At Charlie Paris, we currently do not have a vegan leather strap. If the animal cause is important to you, we develop watch straps respectful of these and allowing you to vswatch strap hanger easily. This is how we have 14mm ladies watch strapsand for men in Milanese knit or nylon who are vegans. These two types of bracelets will go perfectly with our Made in France watches for men and women. Whether it's a men's or women's bracelet, you can adjust our Milanese knit bracelets easily to the size of your wrist. To keep your watch strap for a long time, we advise you to clean your nylon strap.

Choose your watch strap can be a complicated task, which is why thanks to our pump-flash system present on all our wristbands, you can customize your watch to suit all your desires. This system also works on our steel watches. All you need to do is remove the links from your steel watch, you can also take the opportunity to clean your steel bracelet.

vegetable leather bag

leather strap watch