This fall I read this post on the Peahen, and while the article was focused on faux leather handbags, it could not have come at a better time as I was searching for a new pair of booties. I did not want leather, but I hadn’t thought much about the issues pleather creates from an environmental perspective.
I learned that most pleather’s are made from PVC which is a toxic, synthetic material that isn’t biodegradable. Just because it says, vegan leather DOES NOT MEAN IT IS SUSTAINABLE. Yeah didn’t know that- greenwashing stresses me out so much because I recognize I am slightly naive and new to this industry and there are so many loopholes in things being genuinely sustainable or ethical.
I began the daunting task of ethical faux leather with this as my foundation. Not wanting to pay $500 for a pair of boots slimmed down my choices even more. I ended up stumbling on a pair by Matt & Nat that were $100 and immediately bought them.
Matt & Nat Joliette boot in Coffee
The pair is made from polyurethane (PU), recycled nylon which means it’s degradable. As excited as I was to find a sustainable shoe I am not over the moon with my purchase. Sustainability also means that the company has a moral obligation to make a product that will last instead of being part of the problem with fast fashion. I have only had these boots for three months, and while I wear them a lot, I expect them not to be deteriorating at the speed that they are. I take care of my shoes. I try to avoid unnecessary creases by kicking my boots on and off or just stomping into booties. You wouldn’t know that from the way they are looking. I was hoping these shoes would last at LEAST 5 years, but I don’t know if they will.
So what’s the solution? PVC is literally in every faux leather product, but I don’t think to replace these booties in a year or two because they have fallen apart is any better for the environment. I really would love to hear your opinions on what the lesser of the two evils is.