Leaf Leather vs: Vegan Leather

Category: Sustainability

November 12, 2022

Nice, durable, thick material without the harm to animals or the environment? Sign us up! Over the past decade "vegan leather", once known as "pleather", has jumped into the textile realm. Sometimes it's made through sustainable practices and poses a minimal harm to the environment (think: plastic free, using products from pineapples to mushrooms). However, a lot of the time, vegan leather is made from petroleum based plastics and made with fossil fuels (aka: it isn't biodegradable and hurts Mother Earth). This is what you're envisioning when you walk into fast-fashion stores with "vegan leather". 

We are beyond proud of the vegan leather that we produce! Not only are we able to capture the quality and durability of "traditional" leather, we're able to do so without hurting animals or adding to the environmental problem we all face. While our Leaf Leather collection is indeed vegan, there are a few things that differentiate ours from the rest! 

Leaf "Leather" is not actual leather - it's a layered material made from sustainably harvested Teak leaves that are mended with fabric and sealed to preserve the beauty of nature's designs. Every piece is truly unique, and unlike regular leather, no animals are harmed in the process.

Our leaf leather gear is strong, durable, and water resistant.

How It's Made:

Each style has a different story, here is the process we use for making Teak leaf leather:

  1. Sustainably harvested Teak leaves are collected from fallen leaves. No trees are harmed in the process.
  2. The leaves are soaked in water, dyed, then arranged flat together and set out to dry, which bonds the leaves and provides a large sheet of the leaf material.
  3. The leaf layer is mended with cotton fabric to provide a soft interior backing and structure.
  4. A thin translucent outer layer made from a non-toxic BOPP film is applied that seals the leaf layer and protects it while maintaining the texture and feel of the leaves. This layer also provides water proofing, durability, and longevity. While not perfect (yet), when incinerated BOPP film only gives off water vapor and carbon dioxide.
  5. With the leaf leather material complete and strengthened, it can now be sewn into any accessories imaginable.

Our Leaf Leather isn't just ethical, it's handmade.

The entire process of crafting Teak leaf leather is a traditional hand made art from  Thailand.

Our partners are a small family business of Thai artisans and skilled seamstresses that share eco friendly values and have a passion for quality crafting. Our Founder spent significant time with them and experienced this craft first hand. We continue to work closely with them to bring our combined ideas to life as the Tree Tribe Leaf Leather collection.

Every piece is unique, so the designs in our leaf leather gear are truly one of a kind - you get a unique piece of art that shows the beautiful variances of nature.


We're constantly thinking of ways to expand our Leaf "Leather" line and get it into the hands of more consumers to showcase just how impactful this product can be! The next time you're looking for leather alternatives, be sure to dive into the details and consider a more plant based option! 🌱 Check out our Leaf Leather here

Sources: https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/vegan-leather-vs-animal-leather


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