Woman holding large brown handbag.

In an effort to get away from using leather in their products, manufacturers of vegan alternatives often turn to polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Although vegan, both of these are plastic – and it’s therefore a fair bet that your non-leather, cruelty-free handbag isn’t environmentally friendly.

If you’d prefer to source an alternative, then check out this guide: 5 Vegan Leather Alternatives to PU and PVC & are they Sustainable?

Following a brief look at the pros and cons of PU and PVC for making accessories, it assesses the advantages and disadvantages of five leather substitutes:

  • Cork leather;
  • Piñatex (pineapple leather);
  • Apple leather;
  • Cactus leather; and
  • Mushroom leather.

Which is the author’s favourite material? Read the article to find out.