Can Vegans Wear Leather? (New, Used Or Never)

can vegans wear leather

Are you new to veganism or vegetarianism and wondered can vegans wear leather, new or used?

Vegans cannot wear leather because it comes from an animal. Vegans are against all exploitation of animals, which leather is a part of. It might not surprise you all that much, but leather is animal skin. That means that leather is practically like wearing a dead animal. All vegans are against this, but there are a few exceptions. Some vegans believe wearing used leather is fine since the leather would otherwise go unused. Although this is not the norm, and most vegans are against all uses of animal products, including leather, both new and used.

Vegetarians, on the other hand, can wear leather but not eat it. Some leather is technically eatable, but that’s not vegetarian. Vegetarianism is simply a diet that excludes all products that have actual animals. Fortunately for vegetarians, this means that they can wear leather, both new and used.

Although! There is one ethical way that vegans can wear new and used leather.

Can Vegans Wear Leather

Leather is an animal product, which is made from animal skin. Most leathers are made from cows as part of meat production. After all, the skin is not eatable, or at least most people won’t eat it. So because of that, it’s sold to clothing manufacturing.

This leads many to think that leather is vegan. It’s a logical thought since the animals are killed whether or not you buy leather products. Although that’s not entirely true. The meat industry benefits a lot from this practice. Many, virtually, waste products are sold to increase profit. Leather is one of them.

This means that animals may not be killed directly from buying leather. Although animals are killed indirectly since it supports the industry. It’s essential that you choose vegan clothing materials if you are against the industry.

Can Vegans Wear New Leather

Veganism is not only a diet. It’s a lifestyle that seeks to eliminate suffering the extent possible, with reason. That means that the vegan lifestyle includes much more than diet, but also clothing. So can vegans wear new leather?

Vegans cannot wear or buy leather as it supports the animal industry. Any vegan will tell you that the animal industry is the worst example of injustice. Why is that? Animals are killed and kept in confinement without any say in the matter. So it’s not surprising that vegans cannot support this practice.

The most substantial concern of new leather is that you support the industry financially. Leather is sold by the industry to increase profits. So eliminating new leather from your life removes another profit source from the industry. Especially new leather is an issue since it increases demand for animal products, as some animals are killed mainly for its leather.

Issues With New Leather

  • Directly supports the animal industry financially
  • Upholds status quo
  • You are wearing an animal
  • Usually more expensive than vegan leather
  • Equals more animal exploitation

Can Vegans Wear Used Leather

Another critical aspect of the question if vegan can wear leather is the signals you send. Leather is essentially animal skin, which upholds the status quo that wearing animals is normal.

Vegans generally want to bring forward change. Specifically, change that involves removing the use of animal products, and consequently reduced killings. So vegans should strive to bring forward change and set an example.

Because of that, it’s entirely meaningless whether or not leather is new. New leather is more against the vegan belief as you financially support the industry. While that’s definitely true, wearing used leather can be just as bad. Used leather upholds the status quo that killing animals is A-OK, which no vegan believes.

So vegans cannot wear used leather. Veganism is a lifestyle that eliminates suffering, animal, and human, as much as possible. So I don’t think it’s possible to be a vegan and wear any kind of animal product, including leather.

Issues With Used Leather

  • Upholds status quo
  • Indirectly supports the animal industry financially
  • You are wearing an animal

Do Vegans Wear Leather

Vegans generally don’t wear leather as it’s derived from an animal. Although some vegans believe that wearing used leather is okay. They believe this since the leather is already produced and an animal has died for it.

This might be the case for some vegans, but it’s not the norm. Most vegans are against any use of animal products. Meaning it doesn’t matter in which way it was made. The same is true for eggs or honey, which could technically be gathered ethically. The issue here is that neither are, at least most of the time.

Leather, on the other hand, it cannot be produced ethically. This means that wearing leather symbolizes animal suffering no matter how it was gathered. So most vegans will never even consider wearing leather, used or new, but some do.

Is Leather Vegetarian

Vegetarianism is more of a diet than a lifestyle. It’s a diet that is against eating the animals, no matter which part. They are allowed to eat products from animals, such as eggs and honey, but not the actual animal.

There are plenty of reasons to be a vegetarian. Some are vegetarian for ethical purposes. Meaning they may believe killing the animal is wrong, but eating products from it is okay. Others are simply against eating meat because they think it’s gross or for health concerns.

So, is leather vegetarian? As you may expect, few people actually eat leather. Hopefully, nobody does.

So leather is entirely vegetarian to wear, use on furniture or tools. That goes for both new and used leather. Vegetarians simply cannot eat leather, although I don’t know many meat-eaters who do either. Hopefully none.

Buy Vegan Leather

By now you might be thinking if vegans can wear leather at all. Well, there’s an ethical way that vegans can wear leather. That’s by buying vegan leather.

Vegan leather is made entirely without the use of animal products. It’s a synthetic fabric, which looks a lot like leather. Another great thing about vegan leather is that it’s often better quality than regular leather. Easier to breathe trough, lighter, and obviously cruelty-free.

So where can you buy vegan leather? There’s plenty of regular stores that offer vegan leather. You can see an example on Amazon by clicking here. Simply look if the fabric is made using real leather or other vegan alternatives.


So there you have it. Vegans cannot wear leather since it’s a lifestyle that excludes the use of all animal products. Some vegans believe that used leather can be vegan, but there are many issues with that. Wearing leather upholds the notion that leather is ethical. Thus, almost all vegans avoid leather for this reason, no matter how it’s sourced.

Vegetarians, on the other hand, can wear leather and still stay true. It’s just a diet that excludes animal products. Meaning they can wear leather, both new and used, but not eat it. Although I don’t think anyone is interested in that.

Also Check out: My Favorite Vegan Popcorn Brands

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