Faux leather vs leather: pros and cons
When it comes to buying clothes or furniture, it is always best to be informed about the various types of fabric to choose from. If we are talking about leather, for example, we need to know the difference between eco-leather and simil leather, faux leather or cowhide and so on. Despite the fact that it is a very popular material, there is a great deal of clarity to be found in the world of leather. First of all, you need to know that what we call faux leather is actually synthetic leather and should be called so to distinguish it from “real” eco-leather, i.e. leather of animal origin tanned according to principles of sustainability and respect for animals. It has nothing to do with artificial leather or synthetic leather, the manufacture of which requires a completely chemical process, nor with leather made from vegetable components using an industrial process.
Coronet fabrics are synthetic but eco-sustainable, made from natural raw materials, through processes that care for animals and the environment. They cannot, however, be called synthetic leather, as they have no relation to animal skin, but they do have what it takes to be called vegan leather.
Eco-leather vs synthetic leather
The differences between real leather obtained in an environmentally friendly way and synthetic leather are many: firstly, the production process is significantly different; then there are a number of issues related to the performance of the material, where real leather can beat poor quality synthetic leather by as much as 10-0.
Price and appearance
Leather is obtained from animal skin, which is processed through “tanning” to acquire the characteristics of durability and resistance with which we are all familiar. Usually, ‘leather’ refers to a hard, rigid product used to make shoe soles, while ‘hide’ refers to a softer fabric. Most real leather comes from farm animals and has to be treated with chemicals to become malleable and suitable for making shoes, bags and clothing. This makes it a high quality product – with an unmistakable scent and appearance – but also very expensive.
Synthetic leather, on the other hand, is obtained through an industrial process, during which fabrics such as linen, cotton or synthetic fibres are covered with plastic material. It is chosen by the big fast fashion brands to reproduce the garments seen on the pret à porter catwalks, because it is cheap and easy to work.
Cleaning and maintenance
Every material, whether natural or synthetic, must be properly cared for in order to enjoy the products made from them for a long time. In the case of leather and simil leather, cleaning is not very complicated, simply wiping regularly with a soft damp cloth. However, it is still a material that needs to be waterproofed to create a water-resistant layer.
Eco or bio leather, cruelty free choices
Just as there is a cruelty-free – or at least more ethical – alternative to real leather obtained by exploiting animals and the environment, so too the progress of the chemical industry has led to more environmentally friendly synthetic materials. These fabrics are made from natural raw materials such as wood, cereals, corn and organic cotton, in industrial plants equipped with water purification plants and powered by green energy. Unlike fossil-derived synthetic leather, bio-leather does not involve any plastic components and is made from raw materials of plant origin. Coronet, for example, has gone the way of bio-polymers – polymers extracted from non-food and non-GMO cereals – for the production of BioVeg, and has equipped its factories with systems to manage waste and energy production in a sustainable way. Biobased materials have a biomass content of up to 80%, which gives them twice the durability of traditional synthetic materials.