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Article: Plant Based Leather Guide


Plant Based Leather Guide

Just about everyone has heard of faux fur, which has become a popular option to keep clothes fashionable, whilst also reducing unnecessary harm to animals. But have you heard about plant based leather, plant based shoes and even plant based sneakers? Well, that’s where the alternative leather industry is right now with the fashion industry out in front leading the way.

What are plant based leather and plant based shoes?

Plant-based leathers are made either mostly or entirely of plants. This means that as well as being kinder to animals, you’re also being kinder to the planet. This is because the materials are more eco-friendly, due to them being renewable materials which biodegrade (so there’s less waste long term).


How is plant-based leather different from vegan leather?

Vegan leather is any type of leather that has not originated from animals. Under this broader term, you have the terms plant-based leather and synthetic leather.

Synthetic leather is a form of vegan leather and not plant-based leather. It is typically made from synthetic materials like ocean plastics or other man made materials. So they aren’t a bad thing, as they help to reduce animal suffering, whilst also helping us to reuse plastics and other materials that would otherwise remain as waste (if they are made from recycled materials).

To summarize, plant-based leathers are vegan leathers, but not all vegan leathers are plant-based.

How is plant based leather made and what plants are used?
Plant based leather is exactly what it says it is, a leather alternative made entirely or mainly from plants. As you might imagine, there are many different parts of plants you can use, including leaves, roots, bark, stem fibers, resin, husks and fruits. So which parts, and which plants, are used to make leather?

The plant of choice for our LØCI sneakers is maize, which is made into maize leather.

Maize leather is made from corn husk, which is added to recycled textiles and processed into a material that has all the properties of extremely durable leather. All our maize leather sneakers made exclusively from maize leather.


Why is maize leather good for shoes?

This particular plant based leather is very supple making it the preferred product for our range of high-quality plant based sneakers and other plant-based shoes. One of LØCI’s most popular products is womens vegan sneakers, which are available in a wide range of colors and styles.

Maize leather is also very durable, water resistant, easy to clean and lightweight. It’s a breathable material making it ideal for plant based shoes and sneakers.

What are other plants used to make plant based leather?

Other plants used to make plant based leather include:

  • Mushrooms

  • Pineapples 

  • Apples

  • Coconut

  • Cactus 

The root system of mushrooms, known as mycelium, can be used to make leather by first cultivating the fungi and modeling the root system into different shapes and sizes. This type of leather is better known as Mycelium leather or “Mylo”. Cactus leather or “Deserto”, is another type of leather made from plant fibers.

Then you have coconut leather or “Malai”, is a more recent addition to the growing list of plant based leathers and is made from both fibers and coconut water, which are used to manufacture all types of alternative leather products including shoes and bags. Pineapple or “Pinatex” is becoming a popular plant based product that is used to make leather. 

It’s exciting to see how many sustainable vegan leather materials are being tested, which allows us to create stylish sneakers that minimize the impact on the planet.

What is plant based leather used for other than sneakers?

We’ve already discussed plant-based leather being used in LØCI sneakers, such as our black vegan sneakers made from maize leather, and so too are the more popular white vegan sneakers.  

Other products include fashion shoes, handbags, purses and wallets. It can also be found in coats and jackets, car seat covers and just about any other type of product that is currently made from animal leather.

Plant based leather is gradually becoming the only real eco-friendly alternative to animal leather and in many cases, it is much preferred to synthetic Vegan leathers. 

Is plant based leather durable/long lasting?

Tests have shown plant based leather to be at least as durable as animal leather. In many cases, plant based leathers can be more durable and longer lasting than animal leather due to there being more control in the manufacturing process. 

Choose maize leather for your next pair of sneakers

Now you know the benefits of maize leather for the environment and animals, it’s an easy choice to pick maize leather for your next pair of sneakers.

Check out our full range of maize sneakers for men and women.

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