K(NO)W Your Leather

pollution and health hazards for workers in making of leather materials

Animal LeatherMost commonly-used animal hide leathers are not biodegradable. They are loaded with caustic and toxic chemicals to keep animal hides from decomposing. Many argue leather is a by-product of the meat industry, but a high demand for leather shows a striking change in the scales. Water pollution created by leather industry is another issue.

PU Leather - In comparison, PU leather isn't considered a toxic leather like PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) leather. PVC is made from chemicals and can have some off-gassing. These chemicals are considered toxic in large amounts. Also PU Leather does not require animals to be reared and slaughtered.

Plant Based & Vegan Leather - Created from plant waste, they are Eco friendly, Biodegradable and Sustainable alternative to Animal as well as PU Leather.

Some Varieties of Plant based Leather 

Malai - One of the amazing facts of this card wallets is that even the dyes used to create this Natural / Beige color of the product is made from plants and is absolutely free from chemicals. Malai is a flexible, durable and water resistant material and because it contains absolutely no artificial ‘nasties’ it will not cause any allergies, intolerances or illness. It is a completely vegan product and as such you could even eat it.....but it’s way too pretty for that :)

Made with Coconut waste, it is a newly developed biocomposite material made. It is entirely organic and sustainable bacterial cellulose, grown on agricultural waste sourced from the coconut industry in Southern India. They work with the local farmers and processing units, collecting their waste coconut water (which would otherwise be dumped, causing damage to the soil) and re-purposing it to feed the bacteria’s cellulose production. One small coconut-processing unit can collect 4000 litres of water per day, which can be used to grow 25kg of cellulose.

Malai will last many years if properly cared for, however should you wish to have a clear-out, it can simply be placed in with your compostable rubbish and it will naturally break down.

Coconut leather is one of the most versatile PETA approved vegan leather. It is the first vegan leather which is 100% biodegradable, plastic free, Eco-friendly and free from any toxic chemicals. It is one of the most organic, cruelty free, sustainable and high quality vegan leather which is a perfect example of recycled, environment friendly and sustainable fashion.


Desserto - Made with Cactus, it is world's first highly sustainable, environment friendly organic material created from Nopal cactus. Cactus leather is created from leaves of the plant which can be harvesting every 6-8 months without harming or cutting the plant. After cutting the mature leaves, they are dried under the sun for three days until achieving the exact humidity levels and there’s no additional energy used in this drying process. It takes approximately 3 leaves to create one linear meter of cactus leather.

It is one of the most sustainable plant based vegan leather using very limited resources in terms of land and water. The cactus uses 200 liter of water instead of 1000 liter of water by any other plant to create 1 kg of plant based dry material. This consumption is 5 times less water in comparison to any other plant used to create bio based material, which too, cactus absorbs in natural way like from rain water or from the morning dew in environment without any extra irrigation. As for the land usage the same plantation can be used to harvest cactus leaves for 8 years as compare to other plants which have to be harvested annually.  

The production of cactus leather creates a negative CO2 emission. This is because of the great CO2 holding capacity of the plant which even absorbs CO2 at night. The 14 acres of land used to plant cactus absorbs 8,100 tons of CO2 while the production farm only generates 15.30 tons of CO2 annually.


Apple Skin- Originating from the region of Bolzano in northern Italy, the fabric is created from apple waste and is a perfect example of recycling fruit waste. Apple Leather is a very innovative and exceptional leather type that is created by the waste of apples that are used in the juice and applesauce industry. Developing this vegan leather material through the usage of the waste, no apples have to be planted or harvested just for this plant based vegan leather. In fact, it creates an opportunity for the farmers to get a second income through their waste and it is a way to protect ecosystems.

The process starts by taking the waste product which consists of the skin, stem and fibers of the apples and dry them. The dried product is then pulverized and mixed with a biodegradable plastic substitute made of milk protein. Feels exactly like leather, it comprises of up to 50% bio based content and is absolutely vegan and animal free. 

One of the most important aspects of using the apple waste is that it is a completely renewable resource. This reduces the CO2 impact significantly compared to faux leather made from 100% fossil fuels.This is the reason that this PETA Approved innovative material is one of the most sustainable and environment friendly substitute to animal leather and is a perfect example of recycling waste into a sustainable and eco-friendly luxury. 


Cork - Cork is obtained by removing the outer bark of the Cork tree, without cutting or harming it. As the bark replenishes, cork can be harvested again and again. Cork fabric is the natural and sustainable vegetable leather.