Vegan leather and faux leather, what’s the difference? Nothing really. These days, “vegan leather” is a marketing buzzword for faux leather products, made from synthetic materials like polyurethane and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). But one common mistake that faux leather wearers should know is that sometimes these synthetic materials are combined with animal leather powders, and therefore aren’t exactly cruelty-free. Vegan leather, however, can also be made from non-synthetic materials like kelp or seaweed, or sustainably harvested cork.
But you know what makes vegan (or faux) leather better than the real thing? Other than the affordable price points, it’s much more durable than actual leather. Designer Joseph Altuzarra tells The Cut, “It doesn’t wrinkle. It travels really well. It’s waterproof, so if you wear it in the rain it completely repels waters. There’s something sort of magical about its properties.” Fabric designers have been able to create an ethically minded material that ages well over time—like a fine wine. Shouldn’t that be reason enough for you to stock up? From peplum tops and moto jackets to flared mini skirts and skinny pants, check out our slideshow of guilt-free “leather” clothing.