Vegan leather has been around for a number of years, from leather jackets to shoes and even car interiors. In today’s modern world, new innovations in sustainable and animal friendly materials are constantly being developed and we are continuously researching for ways to produce bags that both you and our planet will love. Vegan leather is known as the cheaper alternative to real leather and of course it's vegan, but when designing a baby changing bag it's actually got more benefits than using real leather (as well as looking after the cows) however there are some downsides too. We go Inside Babymel and speak to our Design Team to find out what vegan leather is and why we chose it as a material for your all your changing bag needs.
What is vegan leather?
Vegan leather is an animal friendly alternative to the real stuff. Our vegan leather is manufactured to have all the benefits of real leather, it’s soft, supple texture handles beautifully and looks great in a wide variety of colours. Unlike real leather however - it is lightweight, water and fade resistant.
Is vegan leather quality just as good as real leather?
Real leather ages over time. It can harden, the colour can fade and the leather can begin to deteriorate. Vegan leather keeps its supple hand feel without fading or ageing. It is also a waterproof surface unlike porous real leather, so really is the ideal choice for a baby changing bag. A little care needs to be taken with the handling of this material as once scratched or scraped it is harder to repair than leather, but we believe the benefits of this material make it perfect for our products.
Is vegan leather a sustainable option?
There are many theories whether vegan leather or real leather is the more sustainable choice. Although not a natural material, our vegan leather is premium quality and we test to REACH standards, globally known to be one of the highest testing grades. So you can be sure that our vegan leather is free from nasty chemicals such as cadmium, phthalates, lead and AZO dyes. It's also a completely animal friendly alternative meaning that no animals were harmed in the making of any of our changing bags.
Are all other parts of the bags animal free?
The other part of handbags that often contain animal parts are the glues used when constructing the bags. At Babymel, we ensure our glues are all vegetarian so we can be sure all our changing bags are completely animal free.
Are there any challenges you face using vegan leather to create a changing bag?
This specific material does behave differently from a standard polyester or canvas. It has more stretch than a woven fabric so extra care needs to be taken when sewing to avoid pulling the material. It is also a lot thicker than our other base materials, which needs to be taken into account both in the design and construction of the bags.
Pros and Cons?
Overall vegan leather is a great alternative for someone who doesn't want an animal derived product however that doesn't mean it's automatically better for the environment.We have rounded up with a pro and con list, so that you know the facts before making a decision if vegan leather is the material for you.
- It is animal friendly
- It is easily cleaned with a damp cloth
- It is cheaper than real leather
- It is very lightweight and fade resistant
- Vegan (synthetic) leather is made from plastics which don’t fully biodegrade. It does breakdown to a degree, but does take much longer than real leather.
- It is not as hardwearing as real leather and needs a little care to be taken when handling this material as once it is scratched or scraped it is harder to repair than leather.
- It emits toxins during production, however we only use materials that meet the highest industry testing standards. We don’t use any harmful dyes or chemicals.