Leather fashions – how should I feel as a vegan? by Michelle - 7th March 2016 When I first went vegan, it was about a year before I even consciously considered the leather products I owned. I am a lady who has been known to enjoy a shopping trip or two, so over the years I’ve been able to amass quite the collection of leather bags and shoes. Thankfully I don’t own any leather trousers (although I did while in an adventurous mood don a pair of fake leather trousers in 2001 – a very short-lived trip to the wild side! Shudder…) And this is where I get sad, and really quite angry with myself… It wasn’t till this January, that I stopped buying leather goods. Shameful, and really quite hypocritical when I claim to be mad about cows (it’s the way they bat their eyelashes at me, gets me every time)… But what next…? Should I be rooting through my cupboards and throwing out all my previously purchased leather goods? Should I give them away? Should I just not bother, and give in to that lovely pair of leather boots I spotted on my way home from work a few weeks ago? It’s a tough choice, and while there’s a few paths here, the one thing I know for sure is I won’t buy leather again. There are a fantastic range of alternatives out there now, and it’s a growing industry. And quite frankly (although this could be my age talking!) I’m much more comfortable in a pair of trainers anyway, and am challenging myself more and more to leave the house without a bag (combat trousers are my new and recent love!) I’ll continue to use my leather goods, and I’ll wear them till they are falling apart. But I won’t support an industry that so often mistreat the animals on their way to becoming something for us to put our feet inside, or drape across out bodies. Until now, I’ve personally not found any leather alternative shoes that have blown me away, but the industry is growing rapidly, and no doubt just a matter of time. I did come across a pretty cool vegan bag company, Matt & Nat, in particular their Chandra Mist backpack has me drooling every time I thumb through the images! The only thing on my mind is what the synthetic materials actually are, and how biodegradable they are. It would seem a shame to help the planet in one sense by being a vegan, only to promote the use of products that will be floating in space in another few hundred years, with the matter unable to break down. One for the research list me thinks! In the meantime, there’s nothing like a pair of canvas trainers or running shoes for comfort. Although summer is coming, and that means flip-flops is really your only stylish choice (queue my husband’s turn to shudder!) Simplifying happy choices!