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A REVOLUTION in the leather industry and in fashion(?). Richard Wool- the person who introduced a computer motherboard made out of chicken feathers, epoxy resin, soy beans, and newspapers at a seminar in Washington… He stated that he was about to take another step toward an ecological and sustainable future. The chemistry and bioengineering professor at the University of Delaware produced artificial ecological leather which could be used for shoes, purses, and other accessories. So what is the future of all of this?

Leather and eco-leather

Let’s be honest, today’s fashion is adapting to us, but not us to it. Sensitive ecology, healthy-lifestyle, worldview issues seem to have led leather manufacturers and designers to innovations and innovative ideas. Eco-leather, neoprene, textiles, cork wood fabrics and hemp fabrics have swapped with leather. With that happening, we might ask - is this the end of natural leather? We can’t answer that, but here’s what eco-leather manufacturers say:

„Our eco-leather can be better, more sustainable, and more interesting than animal leather. But only over time and through hard work“, – said the professor at the annual chemistry and engineering conference. Although high-quality materials are used in the production of footwear and the requirements of the European Union are strictly adhered to, eco-leather is worthy of a separate subject on the principles of sustainable fashion in this respect.

Eco-leather imitates the texture of exotic animal skin and is coated with varnish

Eco-leather is coated with a glossy vinyl layer

Eco-leather is a modern material. The main purpose of it was to combine the basic qualities of natural leather and fabric upholstery. During the usage of eco-leather, polyurethane does not release harmful substances, and that is why it’s called eco-leather.  Eco-leather is based on all environmental requirements, without the use of heavy metals and harmful substances. It is made out of natural fabrics, such as flax and cotton mixed with corn, soy beans, and vegetable oils, which are layered together. It is covered with polyurethane with microfiber.

Eco-leather manufacture

This new-generation eco-leather has recently become very popular. This is a relatively long-lasting, easy to clean, soft, and elastic material, quite resistant to friction, ripping, staining, and scratching.

Eco-leather advantages:

  • it looks like leather;
  • the base of eco-leather is cotton;
  • the leather “breathes”. It is completely permeable to air and water vapor;
  • it is not permeable to water;
  • it is warm and pleasant to touch;
  • it does not release harmful substances;
  • it is resistant to depreciation;
  • it is cold-resistant up to -35°C (-31°F);
  • easy maintenance: clean with a damp cotton cloth (if necessary with a gentle cleanser foam);
  • it is very durable, 40,000 in the ”Martindale’’ test (in realistic conditions it holds up to ~2700 hours);


One of these is the Martindale (durability) test, which helps determine the durability of a fabric. If a fabric is used in haberdashery, footwear, or furniture, specialists recommend choosing leathers that meet the ISO standard. These are fabrics and eco-leather that have at least 40,000 cycles of durability.

Eco-leather and leather shoes models

More footwear HERE

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