Is leather better? The myths exposed
At Shoe Envy, people sometimes ask us, “Isn’t leather better?”
That’s a big question and it’s based on all sorts of mythology and assumption that we’ll get to in a minute.
But first, I want to tell you right up front that Shoe Envy is an animal-friendly brand. We love our fashion but we believe life is more valuable than shoes. That’s why we don’t harm any animals when creating our beautiful designer shoes.
We also know from experience that there are so many beautiful, high quality alternatives available that there really isn’t any need to keep using leather.
So is leather better? Let’s look at some of the common myths about leather:
1. Is leather breathable?
Breathable materials are those that allow air to circulate – like netting. Leather isn’t breathable, it’s porous. That means if you fill it with liquid and hang it up overnight, the liquid will eventually work its way through the pores in the leather and drip out the bottom. It also means if you sweat into it, the leather will absorb the sweat and turn into a big, moist, sweaty sponge. Yummy!
2. Does leather last longer?
Yes, it does. A good pair of leather shoes might last for eternity – remember your ugly high school uniform shoes? They are probably still terrorising a suburban neighbourhood somewhere…
But good quality non-leather materials can also last several years and in all likelihood the fashion trends will expire long before your shoes do. The real question is, do you really want to be attending your next big party in a pair of shoes that were cool 10 or 15 years ago?
3. Is leather more durable?
Leather is more resistant to the kind of impact you’d expect on a building site or if your job is something like breaking big rocks into little rocks. But if you topple over on the footpath and scrape your shoes, it will scuff like any other material.
Leather also stretches. This means the shoes will fit when you buy them but eventually, they’ll feel floppy. Meanwhile, non-leather shoes will not stretch unless you want them to (see our post on the hairdryer trick for more on this).
If you’ve ever worn suede, you’ll know the perils of a light summer shower on your expensive fashion item. But if you wear non-leather shoes, you can happily splash through puddles or drop a glass of red wine on them if you want to because most of them are completely waterproof!
They’re also easier to clean. Just wipe them inside-and-out with a baby-wipe to make them as fresh and clean as new.
4. Isn’t leather just … better!
Our attachment to leather stems from Medieval times and before when leather was used to make things like shoes, wine-skins and body armour for battle because it was the only suitable material available.
We’ve now moved on to things like glass, stainless steel and Tupperware, which are more fit-for-purpose. And as a society, we no longer allow men to drag their chosen bride away by the hair and marry her by force – so a lot has changed in the world!
One thing that hasn’t changed very much over the centuries is the way we cage and kill animals for use in the fur and leather industry. This is still a pretty barbaric process. With so many beautiful, high quality alternatives available it’s really no longer necessary to use leather. So if animal cruelty bothers you, there are plenty of other options.
That’s why we’re animal-friendly!
For us here at Shoe Envy, the bottom line is we love our shoes; but we love animals more.
And we’re not just saying that – we really mean it. That’s why we donate a portion of all our profits to charities working to help animals.
So when you shop with us, you’re saving animals twice – once when you buy a product that hasn’t harmed an animal. And again when we make a donation on your behalf that goes to help charities working to protect animals.
So thanks for caring and for buying fashion with heart. Your purchase may have just saved the life of a piglet, a pony or even an ocelot!
If you’re still with us – thanks for caring. We’d love for you to watch our little thank you video 🙂