How Brands are Betting on Leather Alternatives to Protect Animals

The Indian leather industry accounts for around 12.93% of the world's leather production of hides/skins

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Animal skin is used by many brands for clothing and accessories. The manufacturing of footwear and bag is majorly dependant on the leather industry.


The Indian leather industry accounts for around 12.93 per cent of the world's leather production of animal hides/skins. The country ranks second in terms of footwear and leather garments production in the world and accounts for 9 per cent of the world's footwear production.

The durable and flexible leather material is created by tanning animal rawhide and skin. Every year, the leather industry of the world slaughters animals for their skin.

While many popular brands continue to sell products made of animal skin, a few Indian start-ups have pledged to use vegan leather to minimize animal cruelty.

Vegan Shoes for Women

Founded by Devika Bafna, Kanabis, a vegan footwear label, approved by PETA is using canvas as an animal-friendly substitute for leather. Kanabis is derived from the word cannabis and lends itself well to their canvas products. Launched in April 2015, the start-up offers fashionable, high-quality and animal-friendly footwear (PETA approved vegan) footwear for women. Another UK-based lifestyle brand Funky Kalakar, currently running operations in UK and India, is infusing ancient craft into contemporary designs by handcrafting them using natural materials. The brand recently announced vegan shoe collection in which the sole is made from scrap tyre.

For the Love of Nature

Chennai-based lifestyle brand Arture is using 100% natural cork fabrics, from the Mediterranean, instead of leather to create wallets, handbags, sleeves and travel accessories for both men and women. Cork is actually the bark of a tree and its scientific term is Quercus suber. Most people will associate cork with stoppers used to seal wine bottles. Founded by Shivani Patel and Kesha Vasant in 2015, the label is using the same material to make the products like wallets, handbags and travel accessories for men and women. Their animal-friendly range of products earned them a PETA-approved Vegan certification.

Global Fashion Brand Brown Boy by Prateek Kayan takes on the latest international trends by imitating everyday street style from exciting fashion destinations like New York, London, Tokyo. The clothing brand is strictly vegan and PETA approved. The products are made from certified, fair-trade, organic clothing that is ethically and sustainably made from seed to garment.

Promoting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

Another Mumbai-based start-up Senso Vegetarian Shoes caters to vegetarian supporters by promoting a vegetarian lifestyle. Created under the Om Finmart Services Pvt. Ltd., the start-up offers comfort, stylish, and luxurious footwear for vegetarians. Founded by Nilesh Pagarani, Senso Vegetarian wants to reverse the leather trend and give the Indian population a choice to be truly vegetarian and against animal cruelty.