The Cut recently published an article about how pleather is making a comeback on the catwalks. The benefits cited are that it is waterproof, it doesn’t wrinkle, you can do interesting things to its texture, and “There’s something sort of magical about its properties.” Magical? About fake leather? I think not.
Pleather, used as the material for a shoe or item of clothing, stinks. Literally. Pleather shoes not only make your feet smelly, but they are also considered bad for your feet because the material does not stretch or accommodate your foot very well. I have zero pleather shoes in my home. Also, I find it super ironic that people refer to it as vegan leather. I think it is safe to presume that most vegans give up the joys of meat and dairy and other lovely things because they don’t want to kill animals. Well how’s this for killing animals? Pleather is made from petrochemicals, which is made from petroleum – which is responsible for many a death. Think oil spills, oil refineries, and don’t even get me started on the number of people killed in wars fought because of our dependence on oil.
Lastly, it doesn’t age or last as long as leather, so you’ll likely need to replace it much more often.
So, if you are going to wear pleather because you want your clothing/accessories to look like leather and you can’t afford the real thing, then fine. But please don’t preach the benefits of using fake leather on an environmental or ethical basis, because petrol = bad for the environment. Remember global warming? Yeah. And by the way, your feet stink.
All images from Stella McCartney.