Is vegan leather as durable as real leather?
Low quality, faux leather has limited durability and can crack and peel. High quality vegan leather is on par with real leather. And like real leather, its longevity will depend on how well it is maintained and cared for.
Most vegan leathers are made from polyurethane, which is tough but not indestructible. It is recommended to avoid leaving vegan leather in direct sunlight for too long. It can cause fading and discoloration over time. Continued exposure to sunlight and heat can also cause it to dry out, crack, and peel.
A protective conditioning treatment is a great precautionary measure. Conditioning treatments do not penetrate the surface of the material and act as a protective shield against heat and sunlight damage. Conditioners are also going to help the fibers stay strong and improve durability. It is recommended you condition your vegan leather every 3 months or so. This will significantly increase its longevity.
Because vegan leathers are non-porous, water won’t penetrate the surface. Most people shouldn’t have to worry about waterproofing. But, prolonged exposure to water can cause the surface to harden some. So it is suggested that people living in especially rainy places consider waterproofing, just to be safe.
Another pro to its non-porous surface is stain removal. Most stains are easy to remove with a damp cloth and warm water. On tougher stains, it is suggested you use a mild soap, which you should always patch test first. Be careful not to scrub too hard because it can cause cracking. Never use bleach or harsh chemicals and be sure to give your vegan leather a mild cleaning every few weeks.
Buy high quality, animal free leather products and use and treat your bag with love and care. If you do, your vegan leather should age as well and last as long as the real thing, if not longer.