8 Types of Vegan Leather That Look Like Real Leather

Written by the team at Luna Bags

Bags may be tricky when it comes to sustainability; there are a lot of different materials, and all have their pros and cons.

Leather comes with a slew of ethical, cruelty, and tanning cases, while the vegan options are generally made out of plastic or have plastic coatings.

Vegan leather is a moral and cruelty-free alternative choice for traditional leather. It is also known by other names such as synthetic leather, artificial leather, and faux leather. But in nature, its look and feel are like classic leather without any of its ethical concerns. 

An Introduction: The Ethics of Leather

There’s no doubt that leather is a traditional and long-lasting material.

Humans have profited from animal fur and leather as a by-product of hunting, using it for shelter, clothing, and other tools for thousands of years. But for consumers concerned about the effect of these materials on workers, the environment, and animals, leather is a suspicious investment.

Vegan fabrics have the similar look, feel, and have the same features as leather without sacrificing animals in the making. It’s also debatable that leather is a by-product of the meat industry. The leather industry is a for-profit industry – so they will produce leather whether it’s a byproduct of meat or not. In fact, meat can actually be the byproduct and leather can be the primary product. Think about the ostrich, crocodile, iguanas for example. 

In terms of sustainable fashion traditions, there are various ways for a firm to operate and become more sustainable. Discovering sustainable vegan bags that do not include plastic materials can be quite a challenge. At the same time, there has been much improvement in the development and availability of eco-friendly and animal-free leather options that we, customers, now have the alternative to choose vegan and cruelty-free bags of our liking and save our environment. 

In today’s market, there are brands that develop sustainable, stylish, and vegan bags. For example, Luna Eco Backpack develops versatile backpacks that are eco-friendly, cruelty-free and customers can use them for multi-purposes. 

Types of Vegan Leather
source: https://unsplash.com/photos/K3ERTaW5m7E 

Eight Innovative and Eco-friendly Types of Vegan Leather 

The good news is that there are incredible vegan alternatives now available that are just as durable as leather and do not cost any animal lives. Check out these exciting new fabrics that give the leather industry a run for their money.

Waxed Canvas and (Organic) Cotton

This organic canvas is mainly used for bags and jeans; this modern, mixed material can be made into other clothing items. The wax is environmentally friendly and saves you from the adversity of weather as leather does. On top of being waterproof and flexible, canvas or waxed cotton is much easier to clean than animal leather, and that means you can cut down on the dry cleaning prices and dangerous chemicals that go along with it. Many brands use waxed cotton as a leather alternative, but not all utilize organic cotton. 


Piñatex is a leather alternative produced from pineapple leaf yarns. It is a sustainable and natural material, and it also helps farming communities by delivering extra income from something previously discarded as waste. Some Portuguese brands are big fans of piñatex and use the material in many of their stylish shoes. We sense an exciting fortune for this funky fruit leather and pineapple isn’t the only food you can wear. Other fruit-based leather – for example, apple leather – is also being developed.

Types of Vegan Leather
        Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/HsDS3_lGINY 

Leaf Leather

Tree leaves probably don’t come to mind when you think of durable fabrics, but that’s changing. Still relatively rare textile on the market, leaf leather is a unique cruelty-free option. They’re made by using a polymer to convert the leaves into fiber sheets. The leaves are efficiently sourced, and no toxic dyes or medicines are needed for this production process. 


Like it or not, mushroom leather will be the next massive thing in sustainable materials. Dubbed MuSkin, this organic textile comes from a kind of fungus, and the fungi can be grown to the precise shape and size needed for designs. Waterproofing is essential but can be done without toxic chemicals, making this a biodegradable, eco-friendly alternative to leather.

Types of Vegan Leather
           Source: Luna Afroz 


If you are looking for a sturdy, waterproof leather alternative, look no further. Cork has recently soared in popularity as a forward-thinking fashion fabric. Not only is cork water-resistant, but it is also durable and light.

Cork is a crude fiber that comes from cork oak trees. With a lifespan of around 250 years, cork oak trees are gathered for their bark each decade, but the trees continue to grow and live, going on to build more cork. 

Cork leather is partially sustainable. The backing supporting the cork fabric is usually made from regular polyurethane. With this fabric becoming more popular, we hope that, eventually, brands will come up with more sustainable options.

Recycled Rubber

If you are after robust leather accessories, with recycled rubber, you’re on the right path to a cruelty-free lifestyle. While it’s easy to care for and is durable, it is necessary to note that this fabric takes a long time to break down. Many commercially available rubber does not come from the rubber trees anymore, and it is entirely manufactured. That aside, we recommend recycled rubber products to give your objects a new life! Imagine your tires and even fire hoses turning into your jackets and bags!

Types of Vegan Leather
  Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/xJkTCbtuqAY 


Another type of vegan leather comes as a by-product of apple harvesting. Apple leather looks the same as natural leather but has a paper-like feel. This is truly a bonus it can be applied as additional coatings, backings, and can be used to acquire desired aesthetics for a product. 

The apple leather consists of 50% apple waste mixed with 50% PU, smudged onto polyester/cotton canvas. Its results in long-lasting and soft fabric that is excellent for small accessories.


Produced entirely from the waste products of the coconut drive, this new alternative is long-lasting and strongly compares to genuine leather in formation. Despite its durability, the material comprises of natural fibers you can pop it into the compost once you are finalized with it. It truly doesn’t get more leisurely or more sustainable than this.

Types of Vegan Leather
source: https://unsplash.com/photos/WtAc30cpxF8

Final Thought on The Types of Vegan Leather

Over the years, the fashion drive has been taking strides towards sustainability to reduce the industry’s collaborative carbon footprint and animal brutality worldwide. Vegan leather is an alternative to natural leather that uses manufactured plastics (polyurethane) or plant-based materials. Via this article, we tried to make a convincing argument that sustainable fashion can be both ethical and stylish.