With the environmental crisis looming on the planet, the vegan fashion revolution is seeing unprecedented rise in it’s followers. Designers are exploring the possibilities with eco-friendly alternative materials all over the world. Joining them, are the ingenious homegrown labels who are making the shift happen back home one product at a time. These are the flagbearers of the ethical , eco-concious fashion wave in India. We round up the coolest Indian vegan leather labels that need to be on your radar.
Brainchild of Zuzana Gombosova and Susmith C Suseelan launched in 2017, this Kerala based label brilliantly turns coconut waste into leather which is 100% biodegradable, water-resistant has a paper like texture and look of leather. Fermenting the creamy coconut flesh with bacterial culture for around a fortnight results in a cellulose jelly which is then treated for water resistant properties and rendered aesthetics. Featuring an absolutely lovely range of wallets, bags, footwear and accessories, Malai is championing the cause of cruelty free leather with it’s material innovation.
Established in 2015 by Shivani, Arture is committed to make all it’s products and processes clean & green every step of the way. It uses 100% natural cork fabrics to replace conventional leather. Cork is a highly durable, water-resistant, anti-fungal, lightweight, flexible and strong substitute to leather for accessories and no harm is caused to the environment and animals at any stage of it’sproduction. Their PETA-approved Vegan product range includes wallets, handbags, laptop sleeves and travel accessories. Taking cruelty free initiative to a whole new level , Arture also works with the NGO called ResQ which aims to provide medical aid and rehabilitation for animals that face injury or adversity.
Mumbai-based entrepreneur, Nirali Ruparel launched Achiles Heels in 2012 with a vision to build India’s first DIY label that uses cruelty free vegan leather for its bespoke designs. The label is a shoe haven for men offering everything from Oxfords to Derby to slip-ons to loafers to ankle boots in vegan leather. They rely on hide and vegan/pleather materials of napa, suede, patent, nubuck, et cetera. from eco-friendly tanneries for their products. You can choose your material, design and customize your shoe as you like on their website. Focusing on ecologically constructed superior quality products Achilles’ heel aims to bring Vegan leather into mainstream.
One of the coolest Indian vegan leather labels, Aulive strives to make smart, fashionable and high-quality products using vegan leather. For the sake of quality and low environmental impact , Aulive sources various alternatives to real leather such as pineapple leaf fibre and pleather from Italy. While the Pina collection at Aulive which is made from pineapple leaf fibers is completely compostable, other kinds of leathers by Aulive are recyclable and puts minimum impact on environment. The label has an impressive portfolio of messenger bags, trunks, backpacks and purses in bright as well as subtle palettes. The brand has taken the onus of educating audiences about cruelty free substitutes to leather through it’s offerings and marketing.
PAIO is a PETA-certified vegan shoe brand based in Mumbai that makes absolutely lovely shoes for the people seeking cruelty-free items. These entirely handcrafted from start to finish shoes can be completely customized from the design to the size. Shweta Nimkar, a design student from the Winchester School of Art, launched her first collection in 2016 and has been experimenting with fabrics, plant-based leather, mushroom leather and other kinds of vegan leather since then. Boating of unique designs to appeal various preferences, PAIO has a diverse range of shoes for every occasion.The label has worked in collaboration with some known design houses like Payal Singhal and JADE by Monica & Karishma. If you’re looking for cruelty free shoes for your wedding, this is where you go.