Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Vegan Leather Is the Next Big Thing — and Sylven New York Is at the Forefront

Sylven is pioneering a vegan leather that could take the industry by storm.

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you'll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

The industry has to be the oldest and one of the most rapidly growing in the sector, with the primary raw material being by-products from slaughterhouses and the meat industry. Today, the leather industry trade is worth billions of dollars. The number is expected to grow in the future with more people consuming its products, including leather bags, leather garments and . However, with extensive research and revolution in fashion, manufacturing companies such as Sylven New York are now employing organic products as a natural alternative to animal leather.

Sylven New York

This luxury footwear company, Sylven New York, was among the first brands in the United States to use apple leather products. The company's founder, Casey Dworkin, has been working overtime to redesign footwear with organic components such as apple leather. Besides the apparent advantage of preserving animal life, the properties of vegan leather give it an upper hand over animal leather.

For example, the apple leather shoes are made out of apple waste — the core, seeds, and peels. It is fascinating that waste can now be transformed into products with numerous uses. Having an organic product not only makes one feel good but also assigns it extra value. A significant benefit of an apple leather product is its durability and resistance to ultraviolet rays. This material is biodegradable and not toxic to the environment.

Sylven New York pays attention to details that a consumer may typically not consider necessary. The footwear company is big on comfort and style simultaneously. A shoe lining may not be the most outstanding footwear feature, but it plays a significant role. Although leather is naturally a good lining for shoes, plant-based linings made from barley and wheat are comfortable and soft upon contact with the skin. Another advantage is that shoes made out of apple leather are highly breathable and hypoallergenic, making them safe for people across all age groups. This makes plant-based shoes suitable in both hot and cold seasons as they are weather-resistant. Consumers do not have to worry about sweaty feet during summer as the vegan lining in shoes can wick away moisture.

One of the company's near-future plans is to become 100 percent vegan and plant-based. This is potentially a great move considering the sheer number of harmful chemicals involved in the treatment process of animal leather which poses harm to the environment. This plays a critical role in mitigating the effects of climate change as vegan leather combines textiles and polyurethane to create an authentic leather feel and causes less harm as a result. Cattle and animal farming play a significant role in manufacturing leather and leaves a high carbon footprint. However, vegan leather made from organic products including pineapple and fungi cause less gas emission compared to PU leather.

Sylven New York has given other fashion companies a head start. It leads the revolution from animal leather to plant-based and organic leather, making it favorable for those on vegan diets. It may be difficult for any vegan to use leather products with full knowledge of their origin or source. Thanks to vegan leather, people can now put on a leather jacket or rock some leather boots with no feelings of guilt and worry. The advantages of plant-based leather are not only beneficial to vegans but other individuals as well. For instance, much care is needed in cattle rearing and skin preparation, tanning, and finishing processes for animal leather. Using vegan leather as an alternative will save most processing and manufacturing companies from paying substantial bills. It will also be a great way to conserve water and avoid wastage.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks