ECOCULT WEIGHTS IN ON
THE LEATHER VS. PLASTIC DEBATE
As soon as natural leather alternatives are available that don’t require us to compromise on sustainability and longevity, we will use them.
Christian Paul Kaegi,
QWSTION Co-Founder and Creative Director
ANNA DOROTHEA KER
When it comes to the ethics of designing with leather, the QWSTION team agrees to disagree. For the carnivores amongst us, using leather is a logical extension of the nose-to-tail philosophy (i.e. if you’re going to consume an animal, none of it should go to waste). On the other hand, for vegans and vegetarians, leather – and other animal products – is an absolute no-go. The question then follows: Is ‘vegan’ more sustainable?
This is the question the blogger Ecocult posed in her recent article, If There Are So Many Great Vegan Alternatives to Leather, Why Don’t Ethical Brands Use Them? An exploration of this topic together with designers who are paving the way for leather alternative led her to the same stance as QWSTION takes: Because the large majority of vegan leather options are made from plastic, and are on balance more damaging to the planet than the leather they imitate.
When weighing up the pros and cons of different materials, seeing past the marketing hype and seeking clarity on the facts is a good place to start. As Christian told Ecocult: “The topic of sustainability has an enormous complexity, which can be overwhelming. Veganism has become a huge business. In this jungle, I think it’s important to stay critical, ask questions, think for yourself.”
Make up your own mind about our Vegan Driftwood Edition.