Last Updated: February 02, 2023, 08:22 IST
Footwear manufacturers are questioning the long-term market presence of vegan footwear, due to concerns over its quality in terms of breathability, durability, and appearance
Rise towards adoption of sustainable products has led to a rise in demand for vegan footwear made from synthetic or plant-based materials, rather than leather
Vegan footwear has been growing in popularity in recent years as consumers become more conscious of their impact on the environment and animal welfare. The trend towards ethical and sustainable products has led to a rise in demand for vegan footwear made from synthetic or plant-based materials, rather than leather or other animal products.
Many brands have responded to this trend by offering more vegan footwear options, including sneakers, sandals, boots, and dress shoes. These products often use innovative materials such as recycled plastics, organic cotton, and biodegradable polymers, making them a more environmentally-friendly choice. Vegan footwear is not only a trend in terms of its ethical and environmental benefits, but it also offers many practical benefits. Synthetic materials can be easier to clean and maintain than leather, and they don’t require special care, such as waterproofing or conditioning. Additionally, vegan footwear can be more affordable than traditional leather footwear.
With consumers becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and animal welfare, there is a growing demand for footwear that is both ethical and sustainable. As a result, many brands have responded by offering more vegan footwear options, making it easier for consumers to make an informed choice.
“Vegan shoes are a substitute for traditional animal-sourced leather. It has divided the industry due to its pros and cons. While plant-based leather has a unique charm to it, a lesser-known fact is that most of the varieties of vegan leather are created from plastics that take years to biodegrade and are worse for the environment than the real leather,” says Meenakshi Kalsi, Managing Partner, Metro & Metro Shoes.
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Touted for a market share of IS$ 43.77 billion by 2027, this eco-friendly alternative, is still under peer review by industry experts and scientists as its applications in near future might cause industry upheaval.
“For sustainable vegan leather cotton, cork, eucalyptus, and such are being used. Renowned brands like Reebok, Adidas, and Gucci have launched their vegan footwear collection to cater to this new segment,” adds Kalsi.
Footwear manufacturers are questioning the long-term market presence of vegan footwear, due to concerns over its quality in terms of breathability, durability, and appearance. Despite its environmental benefits, these factors may hinder its widespread adoption. However, there is a significant opportunity for the market with increased research spending and heightened awareness surrounding bio-based leather made from plant and food waste. This represents a major chance for the industry to invest in this environmentally-friendly alternative.
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