Introducing: Recycled Vegan Leather - culthread

Introducing: Recycled Vegan Leather

As you may know, here at Culthread we don’t cut corners on quality and we will never compromise our ethics on being a sustainable brand. We also want to continue to bring you fashion forward and iconic looks, so we’re always on the lookout for new and innovative materials which meet our high standards.

A while back, we set Keyva and Pauline from our Shanghai office on a mission to source a sustainable vegan leather fabric and they didn’t stop searching until they found the best. Keyva, responsible for finding the right recycled fabrics for us and Pauline, tasked with locating recycled fittings were both thrilled to report back that they’ve sourced an incredible recycled vegan leather which is 100% recycled polyester with a PU coating. It feels and looks like the highest quality animal leather.

Recycled vegan leather coat close up

So what are the details we hear you ask? Well, let’s get technical for a minute.

For both non-toxicity and its superior suppleness, polyurethane (PU) leather, a synthetic plastic polymer, is the more popular option for the modern fashion industry. Wide-ranging in quality and price, it is created by applying a spongy PU coating to a fabric backing. 

So what exactly is it? Polyurethane (PU) is a composite material made of: (1) one or more layers of polymer resins joined by urethane links; and (2) a woven or non-woven textile backing such as polyester, cotton, nylon, or ground leather. The PU coating is applied to a single side of the base fabric and then treated to look more like animal hide. This makes the fabric water resistant, lightweight and flexible. This fabric then provides the most realistic imitation of leather when it comes to its soft and supple feel. When stitched, gathered, or tufted it actually “breaks'' or wrinkles like real leather.

This PU based material also is more environmentally neutral than vinyl as PU resins are made of a soft polymer and unlike vinyl don’t need added plasticizers. Because no plasticizers are used in PU fabric there is no cracking or peeling, and it remains soft and supple for the duration of its use. Additionally, PU is considered greener than PVC (vinyl) because it does not create dioxins (dioxins are a group of highly toxic chemical compounds which are harmful to health and remain in the environment for many years after production).

The new VIP in fashion 

The new culthread Lonsdale and Ladbroke styles are made with our supple vegan leather fabric, 100% recycled polyester with PU coating, along with all the culthread features such as 100% recycled lining, outside and inside pockets, hoods and quality (mostly recycled) fittings.  The London headquartered brand, Stella McCartney, also uses a similar vegan leather called “alter-nappa”, made from a polyurethane coating on a recycled polyester backing. The luxury label claims that many of its customers cannot distinguish between vegan leather and natural animal hides.

We are so thankful to Keyva and Pauline for bringing this recycled vegan leather into our range, the possibilities of products which we can now design are endless. Here at Culthread we are always thrilled to be at the forefront of innovation in fashion and fabrics, whilst remaining true to our core values which make our brand so unique and special to us and our Culthread family. Watch this space for our new designs!

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