Does vegan leather exist? No!
The concept of "vegan leather" is a real point of tension for all those who work in leather because ... well, it does not exist!
Vegetable leather is a term used for marketing purposes, but in reality, leather cannot be vegan. The phrase itself is an oxymoron.
In fact, "Under decree 2010-29 of the Consumer Code, the use of the word leather is prohibited in the designation of any material other than that obtained from animal skin with tanning or an impregnation preserving the natural shape of skin fibers"(BFM Business).
New methods have been developed to tan leather using plant derivatives and new materials using organic sources such as apple peel, mycelium (from fungi) and even pineapple!
As we all want to become more and more ethical from a consumer perspective, it makes sense that these new innovations take place. At the same time, these new "vegan leathers" are not necessarily better for the planet. They often contain petroleum-based coagulants or other harmful chemicals.
At Phi 1.618 we only use the best quality leather, sourced from luxury houses and which otherwise would have been destroyed. However, the straps of our Phiori bag are in vegetable-tanned leather in order to create a contrast with the body of the bag.
All the leather used in France is a product of the meat industry (BFM Business) and not using the skins would be a waste. At Phi 1.618, we believe that the best way to be eco-responsible is to invest in quality leather, manufacturers and impactful messages. We believe in the transmission of values and our creations from generation to generation; we want our creations to be used, loved and preserved.
Take a look behind the scenes in the making of our Philo handbag here !