It may be the right style, colour and price, but does it have the right intention sewn into its very stitching? Something to ponder about each time we buy a leather product. With the environmental crisis looming large, it’s about time we joined the vegan fashion revolution by making ethical and conscious fashion choices in our daily lives. We round up five coolest homegrown vegan leather labels who are helping us to make the shift ‘one fashionable yet ethical’ product at a time.
Five Coolest Indian Vegan Leather Labels That Should Be On Your Radar
Arture is making that one little product sustainable and eco-friendly, that usually has leather written all over it - wallets. Start small by using Arture’s vegan accessories made of 100% natural cork (considered to be ‘nature’s leather’). Cork is a highly durable, water-resistant, lightweight, and strong substitute to leather. What’s awesome about their wallets, handbags, laptop sleeves and card cases is that they are waterproof, super light, and also low maintenance, just wipe with a clean cloth and it’s back to looking brand new. Also, no two pieces are alike. I quite like their travel range of passport sleeves, key cases, and minimal wallets.
There’s more to the humble coconut water than meets the eye. Malai, a lesser-known, Kerala-based startup is using coconut water as base material to develop alternative leather that can be used for making bags, shoes and other products. What goes into the making of Malai leather? Fermenting the creamy coconut flesh with bacterial culture for around a fortnight results in a cellulose jelly. This is then treated to create a flexible, water resistant, and biocomposite material that has the look of leather and feel closer to paper. They are working on making their products (wallets, bags, footwear and accessories) available on their website soon, but till then, all you need to do is drop them a mail with your requirements and they’ll be happy to help you out.
Vegan bags that fuse style with functionality? Yes please! Broke Mate’s got a range of tote bags in dark blues, browns, and classic black hues that are just the perfect size - compact yet spacious. The minimalistic in me loves the fact that their bags don't come with unnecessary blingy addons. Plus the attention to the tiniest of details amazes me to no end. It is also one of the reasons why their bags are practical enough to transition from a work day to a night out without making much of fashion faux pas. Oh and did I mention just how affordable their bags are? Yep, won’t break the bank. You can shop for Broke Mate’s bag on LBB too.
Have an aversion to genuine leather but love how classy it looks? I get the dilemma. That’s where brands like Aulive come in. Their messenger bags, trunks, laptop sleeves, backpacks and clutches, are all made out of cruelty-free vegan leather. Now, it’s going to be leather weather all the time, minus the guilt. While the Pina collection at Aulive which is made from pineapple leaf fibers is completely compostable, other kinds of leathers by Aulive are recyclable and puts minimum impact on environment. While the products on their website are limited, the ones they do offer are chic and look ever-so trendy. Firstly, the colours are stunning – think tan browns, deep blacks, wine-like burgundy and the darkest blue. Secondly, their bags are minimalistic without engravings, bling & other kind of frills. Lastly, they ship for free and are offering a 10% discount on your first purchase. Need anymore reasons to give Aulive a shot?
A Big Indian Story
Did you know the leather industry is the second most polluting industry in the world? Every time you buy a leather product you contribute to the torture of animals and toxic contamination of the environment. A Big Indian Story is on a mission to create products that are cruelty-free, sustainable, ethical and handcrafted by artisans. Their uber cool bags and footwear are made from Pinatex - a natural textile obtained from pineapple leaf fibre. I recently gifted a friend (who loves to paint) their Pinatex Artists Rollup Case. A must have, if you love going on sketching escapades. Comes with multiple slots, lined with handwoven Ikat cotton. Makes for a cool gift too.