Since our foundation in 2012 we are a vegetarian brand, meaning we do not use leather or any other animal by product in the manufacturing process. Instead, we use vegan leather, organic cotton and recycled cotton for the making of our bags. By using vegan leather, we do not harm animals and we avoid material waste in the production process. Real leather has a lot of waste in the manufacturing process, it is only partially usable. Our vegan material is man-made. It does not have an history like an animal skin, and is uniformly coloured without spots or other marks of life. Using high-end vegan leather also contributes to a better world, given that materials derived from animals (leather, silk and wool) have the worse effect on the environment.
What is vegan leather?
Vegan leather is a collective name for material that is not made of leather, it is a man-made material. At Iris Maree, we use the term vegan leather for material that resembles real leather but made without animal harm. Vegan leather is offered in different qualities, often in moderate to medium quality. To guarantee high quality (strength), colour fastness and a look and feel of leather we produce our vegan leather ourselves. Our material is strong has a soft hand feel, durable and lasts a long time.
What is our vegan leather made of?
In a more technical way, our vegan leather can be explained as a man-made material, consisting mainly of synthetic fibers as an alternative to silk. During the manufacturing process, extremely thin fibers are woven into a three-dimensional structure, which forms a compact base material. This basis is crucial in the process to achieve a strong and high-quality material. The woven material is then processed with a flexible coating to ensure that the material does not wear or fade. Due to the combination of a strong but soft base and a flexible coating, our material is almost indistinguishable from real leather in terms of look and feel.
Why is vegan leather better?
Vegan leather is better because it replaces real leather. Leather as a product of the meat industry requires enormous amounts of land, food, energy, water and causes enormous animal suffering. The meat industry is one of the biggest causes of deforestation worldwide and therefore a cause of an immense increase in greenhouse gases such as CO2 in the atmosphere. But did you know that every year over a billion animals (commissioned by recognized brands) are still bred just for their leather? This means that animals are actively born and killed for fashion ... need we say more?
• Vegan leather is cruelty free.
• Vegan leather replaces real leather and therefore better for the environment.
• Vegan leather has no waste, it is more durable. Vegan leather is a man-made material. It is a controlled process that makes the whole material usable. Unlike real leather. Only a small part of an animal hide can be used to make leather. The vast majority of animal skin does not meet the requirements and is destroyed.
• Vegan leather is anti-bacterial. The skin of an animal carries thousands of microbes. These microbes can end up in the human body through contact with the animal skin.
• Vegan leather is comfortable. Vegan leather is less heavy and therefore more comfortable in use.
• Vegan leather is easy in use. Vegan leather is water resistant, it does not loose colour and is easy to clean.
Striving for the best option
We are of course aware of the fact that the leather alternatives we use aren’t perfect yet. But it is inherently more animal and environment friendly than real leather or PVC. In our efforts to reduce the impact of our alternative leather materials, we continue to work on better options. We are always striving for the best option and step by step we’re getting there.