Sustainability

Why Faux Leather Cowboy Boots May Not Be The Most Sustainable Option

Why Faux Leather Cowboy Boots May Not Be The Most Sustainable Option

Lots of people buy Men’s western boots and barely give a second thought as to where they are made or how. Conversely, others will purchase cowboy boots, and it is just as important to them that they were made from sustainable sources, as is whether the boots are the style and colour they want.

This points to the fact that there is a wide variety of views relating to environmental issues ranging from passionately campaigning on green issues to barely giving it a moment’s notice. Between those two extremes, many people would like to follow a greener and more sustainable lifestyle but are often confused as to exactly how that can be done.

That confusion is not helped by some of the conflicting messages coming from those on opposite sides of the sustainability argument. One such point is the use of alternative materials to those natural ones which are traditionally used. Talking specifically about cowboy boots, these would be cowboy boots manufactured, not from natural leather that comes from the hide of cattle, but faux leather that looks, and in some cases, feels like real leather.

The argument is made that faux leather, or vegan leather as some call it, is an answer to environmental issues and for those concerned with animal welfare, as it does not require the death of an animal. We must point out that not all leather used for cowboy boots is acquired by killing a cow. Many sustainable cowboy boot manufacturers use leather that is only ever obtained from cows that have died of natural causes.

However, at face value, it seems a sound argument that it is better to use faux leather than real leather because no animal has died, regardless of the circumstances, and it is a more environmentally sustainable option. But is it? More to the point, could faux leather cowboy boots actually be a less environmentally and less sustainable product than real leather cowboy boots? Let us find out.

Despite the word vegan often being erroneously transposed with faux when talking about these leathers there is a crucial distinction. To be truly vegan, the product must be made from plant substances, and it is the case that technologies and manufacturing processes continue to be developed in the manufacturing of high-quality genuine vegan leather.

Conversely, the vast majority of faux leather is a manufactured non-natural product that has as its main components either polyvinylchloride or PVC as it is commonly called, or another plastic polymer called polyurethane which is abbreviated to PU. There is no escaping the fact that in the views of most scientists and environmentalists, plastic polymers and chlorides are no friends of the environment.

Also, they are nowhere as long-lasting as real leather. This brings us to the simple fact that a pair of cowboy boots made from faux leather will need replacing much sooner and more often than real leather cowboy boots. Each replacement is further use of resources both natural and man-made, which means faux leather cowboy boots could indeed be less sustainable than real leather cowboy boots.

The final point about faux leather and the chemicals required to make it is when it is disposed of and possibly incinerated, it produces toxic gases, which, if inhaled, are known to contribute to cancers such as leukemia and lung cancer. It is hardly an advert for faux leather’s so-called sustainability if the chemicals it is made from can contribute to the death of humans.