For Better or For Purse

What a difference a name makes. When fake leather was known as pleather it was considered cheap, as in, spend a few more bucks and buy real leather. Now that it’s got a better name – vegan leather – it’s the cool and cruelty-free thing to own. I wasn’t trying to be cool or trendy when I recently purchased a pair of vegan leather shoes. They were the only ones I could find in the colour and style I wanted. Then when a purse I bought late last year started to come apart, I went to social media for brand suggestions. (I have other purses but I wanted something new.) Responses were split between real leather and vegan leather.

several cows in a field looking at the camera

cows by Cornella Kopp via Flickr

There are companies that repurpose leather. I like that. No sense using more cows than you have to. And that’s what it comes down to: personal choice. Vegans aren’t going to stop the use of cows for food and fashion but at least they won’t contribute to it.

A dear friend of ours is dating a wonderful woman who lives a vegan lifestyle. She’s committed, not militant. So when they’re in town, we visit London’s vegan restaurants and the experiment has been so successful that we now choose to go back to places like Plant Matter and Globally Local. Their food is delicious. I’ll never give up meat altogether again but eating less of it feels good physically and intellectually. I say “again” because I was vegetarian for three years and it didn’t go well. I’m borderline anemic at the best of times.

Having recently purchased a Roots leather wallet that didn’t hold up very well, I decided to go the vegan leather route for my new purse. Poppy and Peonies is a Canadian company with a great reputation. We’ll see how my new Midi handbag holds up.

It’s pretty.

As you can see, it’s already full with only my essentials in it. This concerns me a little but we’ll see how it goes.

Something vegan leather proponents don’t tend to talk about is the composition of the product. It’s essentially a form of plastic that takes forever – or longer – to break down. That’s hard on the planet too. But it’s kinder to animals. There’s no easy answer except to go with what works for you. Unless what works for you is protesting outside a meat restaurant that’s operating legally. Then I think you need to get a life!

 

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