I have decided to quit using imitation leather.
I will still keep and treasure my Matt & Nat set and vegan Doc Martins for their high quality, but no new imitation leather products will enter my wardrobe.
One of the main reasons that many vegans dislike imitation fur is because even if an animal was not killed to make that garment, wearing it is promoting fur as a fashion statement. In the past I felt that imitation leather was different, because it is so common, but my attitude is starting to change.
I, and the kinds of people I like to follow, promote buying fewer and higher quality items. Putting vegan brands aside, most ‘high quality’ products like shoes, handbags and jackets contain leather. More than that they contain the kind of ‘superior’ leather that comes from just born or even fetus calves.
I do feel like the era of mass consumption is shifting towards an era of fewer and better, and I want those fewer/better products to be vegan. With all the incredible alternatives out there, I no longer feel that there is any need to showcase a look that involves skin. Real or synthetic. I would love for leather to become unfashionable, and my teeny tiny step towards that goal is to stop wearing leather look products.
I am not criticizing anyone who chooses to wear imitation leather, or even secondhand leather (many vegans do, including me a few years ago) because I think we are all in the process of finding out how we can do better and live a life more aligned with our goals.
There are a lot of people struggling to make their paycheck last the month, and they might hold on to old leather items, buy secondhand leather, or get gifted a leather item that will make their life easier. That is a point that I have been at in the past and I don’t believe in criticizing people who are facing unique struggles and challenges and still trying to be the best person they can.
I am at a point where I have the privilege of being able to try something different, and I am grateful for that choice.