Burnished Vegan Leather

Burnished brown vegan leather boots from the Red Dress Boutique.

I have never claimed to be the world’s most brilliant person, but I do have a decent ability to work things out in my head.


That being said, I must admit to being completely confused. I can’t wrap my head around a description I just read for a boot made of “burnished brown vegan leather.”


Isn’t leather made of animal skin? I’ve double-checked Webster’s. Leather is “the skin of an animal, with the hair removed, prepared for use by tanning or a similar process designed to preserve it against decay and make it pliable or supple when dry.”


So that confirms my understanding of the world in general. Let’s see about “vegan”:


“A person who refrains from using any animal product whatever for food, clothing, or any other purpose.”


So how on Earth is it possible to have boots made of burnished brown “vegan leather”?!


A few possible answers:

1. Plant skins?

2. The cow ate only vegetables?

3. Made of fruit leather?

4. Euphemism for plastic?

5. Made of the skin of vegans?

None of these seem quite right, so I hit up The Google for inspiration and education. It did not fail.


(Does it ever? I swear, The Google has changed my life. The little girl who read the encyclopedia for fun no longer exists as long as there’s an internet connection around. Wait. Did I just admit I read the encyclopedia for fun? Doh!)


According to The Gloss, there are several different types of vegan leather:


  • Vegetan: This is a microfibre material that is specifically designed and used as an animal-friendly leather substitute.
  • Lorica: This material is made out of several different microfibers. Sidi, an Italian motorcycle company uses it a lot.
  • Birko-Flor: This is what eco-icon Birkenstock uses. It’s made out of acrylic and polyamide felt fibres. There are two kinds — the kind you find on normal Birks and a kind that looks like pleather.
  • Birkibuc: Another Birkenstock baby. It’s made out of the same stuff, but looks and feels like nubuck leather.
  • PVC: Finally, a term you should be familiar with! Good for animals. Not so good for environment.
  • Kydex: This is an acrylic-PVC alloy. It’s produce by Kleerdex, a manufacturing company.


I bet all of these terms are designed to confuse the consumer and add zeros to price tags. Because “pleather” is so 1980s.


If you’re still with me, we can wrap up the whole vegan leather question up nice and neat, Jeopardy-style:


“The answer is: Fake and Expensive.” “What is Vegan Leather?”


And there you have it. When it’s all said and done, everything tastes like chicken. Even vegan leather boots.


Do you ever get frustrated with marketing jargon? What’s the most irritating, misleading description you’ve seen?



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One thought on “Burnished Vegan Leather

  • September 25, 2012 at 5:28 am

    “What’s the most irritating, misleading description you’ve seen?”


    Three years of intensive university education never made me second-guess my career choice. Now, it’s my final year, and I am student teaching. Nobody ever told me I had to be superwoman, too.


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