26 October 2021
Yet another “wonder material” as a substitute for leather is on the market. Vegea, marketed as being made from grapes,and the reason given by the company, Ganni, for taking this decision is:
“We’re phasing out leather completely by 2023, as it conflicts with our efforts to minimise our impact due to high levels of methane emissions from the livestock.”
It’s not clear if this is willful ignorance or just a marketing ploy to fool customers into thinking that by not using leather, methane emissions that contribute to climate change, will somehow be magically reduced.
This is pure quackery because even if the whole of the global leather industry shot down, hides would still be produced by the meat industry since cattle are bred to provide food protein for the global population.
Instead Ganni opts for derivative of petroleum that will produce CO2 as part of the “fossil fashion trend”. Methane emissions from livestock are part of the planet’s natural carbon cycle and break down after 10-12 years. Tell the buying public the truth about petroleum-based synthetics.
More laws are needed in more countries to counter this greenwashing and protect the buying public from this mendacious marketing-hype.
Leather UK’s Dr Kerry Senior replies to the claims about Vegea
Substituting leather with other materials, particularly something like Vegea, that performs so poorly when compared to leather, will not help with climate change. It will add more plastic to the environment and make products that do not last as long, before being thrown away. This is not sustainability.
CEO of Ganni Andrea Baldo – the ambition is laudable but you will not reduce climate change by rejecting leather. The hides will be produced anyway and will be thrown away. It makes far more sense to use this raw material than to waste it. This is no different to recycling the waste for making Vegea.
Read Ganni’s putch for Vegea FashionUnited – Ganni and Vegea
Furthermore, substituting leather with a 45% PU-based alternative is only adding more plastic to the environment, regardless of how it is made. These materials also do not perform as well as leather meaning your products will be thrown away sooner, adding to the burden on the planet. In terms of physical performance, Vegea performs very poorly when compared to leather.
Click to read Comparison of Leather to Alternative Materials