5 November 2021

Real Leather vs. Fake Leather - What’s the Better Option?

The pros and cons of real leather vs. fake leather. Written by Nikki Gustafson from the City of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa with 24 years’ experience in the automotive industry. 





First up in our real vs. fake leather debate is durability, and real leather takes the cake on this one! Arguably the best thing about real leather is its durability. Like a fine wine, real leather only gets better with age. It’s less likely to tear or crack like faux leather does. Real leather is also much more breathable, making it better for your skin and the air around you. 


Environmental impact:


Despite belief that real leather is bad for the environment, there are a lot of ways in which it is less environmentally wasteful than faux leather. Most fake leathers are made of some type of plastic and are imported, thus driving up their ecological footprint. Another reason why real leather has less of an impact on our planet is because it lasts longer, which means it doesn’t end up in a landfill as much. For example, one real leather seat will outlive at least three fabric seats. 


Overall look, feel and smell:


Real leather is an elegant material and is always in style, making it a timeless design. While some faux leather can look just like the real deal, it surely won’t stand the test of time. After a while faux leather will begin to crack and tear. Faux leather is very thin and will often times feel similar to plastic, making it uncomfortable to sit on. And of course we can’t forget the smell. Real leather has a distinct scent that cannot be replicated by synthetic materials. Just like a new car, there’s nothing like that real leather smell! 


Controversies of real leather:


One of the controversies of leather is that it’s made out of the hide of animals. However, leather is made as a by-product of cows processed for their meat. 

The moral of the story is that real leather is the better option when choosing your next car seat or furniture set. Although faux leather may appear to be good at first glance (price, eco-conscious, etc.) real leather is definitely the better option in the long run.

About APLF

We bring leather, material and fashion businesses together: an opportunity to meet and greet face to face. We bring them from all parts of the world so that they can find fresh partners, discover new customers or suppliers and keep ahead of industry developments.


We organise a number of trade exhibitions which focus on fashion and lifestyle: sectors that are constantly in flux, so visitors and exhibitors alike need to be constantly aware both of the changes around them and those forecast for coming seasons.


Follow Us On:

Contact us