Ecological leather, also known as synthetic leather or leather, has a texture similar to that obtained from a cow or other animal . It is a product whose raw material is not obtained through traditional methods, as has been done for thousands of years.
Ecological leather is made of a plasticizer material and introduced into a mixing machine . Then, an ultraviolet light stabilizer is added to make the material resistant to the sun’s rays. The next step is to incorporate a flame retardant solution to resist fire. The machine mixes these substances and, at the same time, vinyl powder is added to achieve a consistent mixture. Ecological leather
On the other hand, in another mixing machine, several dyes are added to obtain the desired tones. The contents of the two mixing containers are combined and a large roll of paper with a leather-like texture is poured over the formed substance so that a mechanical arm performs the mixing on the paper.
Once the paper is bathed with vinyl, it is deposited in an oven to harden its texture. Then the paper undergoes a thickening process to give shape, consistency and texture to the fabric.
With this procedure, the synthetic leather is ready to be made any design (of a jacket, a bag or a shoe). The fabric type is very resistant and at first glance looks like a traditional leather piece .
The eco-leather label is questionable
The elaboration process explained above shows that it is not an ecological or natural leather, but this label is used with some ambiguity. On the one hand, it is an ecological product because the lives of animals are respected. However, its ecological value is relative, since the elaboration process and the substances used are typical of the conventional textile industry.
On the other hand, it should be noted that ecological leather or leather is a type of plastic and this material is not exactly a good example of an ecological material. Thus, some claim that the designation of eco-leather is inadequate and that it is simply a commercial strategy.
Differences between animal and “ecological” leather
The main difference is the higher price than traditional leather. On the other hand, the original has a softer texture. Another difference is the odor, since the leather smells like leather and the other plastic.
For some people, buying a synthetic or authentic piece is not a question of price or texture, but rather a choice related to respect for animals.