Conventional leather production raises many environmental issues, and even the most sustainable leather will never be an animal-friendly option as it is made of dead animal skin.
The demand for alternative material to replace leather is increasing for these reasons.
Among the available options, one can choose plant-based leather alternative that has similar properties in terms of durability, robustness and touch.
Cork is one plant-based leather alternative used for thousands of years. Cork comes from the bark of a tree. However the tree doesn’t need to be cut down to harvest it, making it a truly sustainable option. Cork comes mainly from Portugal and Spain. Cork is impermeable, elastic and has fire retardant properties. It can be used to produce shoe parts, bells, wallets and handbags.
More recently, other plant-based leather alternatives have been developed, such as pineapple fibre, Piñatex, which is made from pineapple leaves and PLA (a vegetable-based plastic). Unlike cork, Piñatex is currently not biodegradable. It can be used to make bags, shoes, and wallet.
Plant-based leather alternatives belong to SANE Approved Material List. SANE recognized cork and Piñatex®. For other plant-based leather alternatives, the material production will need to be certified SANE by a SANE-accredited certifier.
It means that a product made of at least 90% plant-based leather alternative (or blended with other SANE Approved Material) and produced in a facility holding a SANE Scope Certificate is eligible to be certified SANE.
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Other sources: Wikipedia