Vegan Leather vs Real Leather

leather jackets hanging on coat rack

There are several differences between vegan and real leather. One factor that many wonder about is the quality and durability. While vegan leather is usually considered to be more environmentally friendly, the material is thinner and can become less durable over time, while genuine leather is sturdy and can last decades years with proper maintenance.

The main benefit of vegan leather is that it’s less expensive than leather made from animal skin. The synthetic materials in vegan leather usually consist of organic polymers, like polyurethane, which are cheaper to manufacture than authentic leather. Synthetic, vegan leathers are also much easier to clean, as of their high plastic content. On the other hand, authentic leathers have pores and are thus more prone to absorbing liquid and staining.

The downside of vegan leather is that it won’t last as long as real animal skin. Synthetic leathers do not bend well, so they tend to wrinkle and crack over time. Another drawback to vegan leather is that many of them are made from plastics that contain synthetic polymers, which are derived from nonrenewable petrochemicals, like crude oil and natural gases. Plastics are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions at each stage of their lifecycles, from production to landfills. This is why it’s important to find synthetic leathers that are created with plant-based materials, rather than plastic products.

What Is Bonded Leather?

Bonded leather is a mix of real and faux leather. This material is a combination of recycled real leather that has been blended with synthetic leather. The threads are rolled together with adhesives and bonded onto a paper backing to create bonded leather. Some leather-making companies also add coatings of polyurethane to provide a skin-like texture. If you’re wondering if your product is made with bonded leather, check for the following names:

  • LeatherSoft
  • Faux Leather
  • Composite
  • Vinyl
  • Reconstituted

Vegan Leather Fabric for Sale

Popular places to purchase vegan leather include Etsy,, and more websites. Vegan leather is relatively cheap to acquire; Walmart even sells faux leather textiles for less than $5. Shop faux leather fabric by the yard at your trusted fabric provider. Many people report that it’s easier to work with and make vegan leather leather pants, jackets, and other fabric items.