Eco-friendly fashionistas cannot stop talking about vegan leather. Prominent fashion labels are slowly adopting the idea of designing a high-flying range of handbags, saddlebags, and totes from this leather alternative.
However, the newbies of the fashion world and the old-school leather lovers cannot help but wonder if vegan leather will have the same appeal as premium leather bags.
Why do fashionistas and designers invest in real leather bags in Singapore?
1. High resale value
Faux leather bags bear little to no resale value thanks to their lack of durability. Whether you are buying it from the local Singapore market or an upstate designer, pleather is bound to have a limited lifespan that any cheap quality leather bag will even outlive.
Some lifestyle brands are using recycled PVC and PU material for creating their statement bags, but sadly, that does little to contribute to their durability. Vegan leather is a lot of things, but it is not as durable as full grain hide.
2. Extended durability
Most people believe that fashion is transient and disposable. Faux leather fits the idea, but if you believe in making style statements and the influence of fashion generation after generation, then you need a sturdy leather bag.
Anyone can tell you the advantages of investing in real leather, whether they are Hollywood actresses from the early 70s or runway models from 2019. Everyone has a favorite leather bag brand that they swear by no matter where they are heading for the day!
What is vegan leather?
Vegan leather is just a new moniker for materials that we have known for ages. Faux leather materials like PU (polyurethane), Rexine, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are now on the rise in popularity as fake leather is becoming a ubiquitous part of the working woman’s wardrobe.
Their variety, affordability and flexibly in design is gradually convincing larger designer labels of their viability as the typical leather alternative.
Another way of viewing vegan leather is faux leather that does not come from an animal. There is no tanning process involved, and there is no concept of full grain or top grain leather. Vegan leather or pleather has been around for more than a decade, but there is enough reason that the true leather accessory lovers refuse to covert.
How to tell premium full-grain hide from fine-quality pleather?
Pay attention to the grains
Real leather users are used to the grainy surface on top and the soft suede at the bottom. Faux leather can do a lot of things, but it can never emulate the same luxe feeling that premium full grain leather promises.
One way to tell faux leather from its real counterpart is the absence of micro-pores. Since faux leather was never hide, it never had any hair or fur on it. There will be a lack of holes or grains, thus giving it a smooth and flush look on the surface. Premium quality real leather in Singapore always bears these micro-holes that gives it grain and texture.
Real leather is more flexible
Another way to distinguish real leather from PU or Rexine is its flexibility. The tanning process makes the leather resistant to rotting and bestows it with flexibility. When you press the surface gently, you should be able to see it fold under pressure and give rise to small wrinkles that eventually disappear.
It is akin to skin that is flexible but has the density to render it water-resistant. As a result, real leather is often more durable than any vegan leather no matter which elite brand endorses it.
However, due to the rise of new and advanced faux leather materials flooding the Singapore market, if you want to purchase genuine full-grain leather products, it is better to do so from a trustworthy brand.
Animal hide has a distinct smell
Most importantly, faux leather does not have to go through drying and tanning. Therefore, you are unlikely to notice any distinct smell emanating from the bags. Real leather always has the distinctive warm and fuzzy smell that you will get if you bury your nose inside the bags.
Don't worry if you don't like the smell! If you air it properly after purchasing, it will dissipate quite efficiently without leaving much of a trace. However, that leathery aroma is the identity of real leather, and no matter how hard one tries, it is impossible to simulate in the other faux leather goods.
Premium full grain leather is expensive
Premium full grain leather from an Italian designer company can be costly. It can cost equal to or even more than the average monthly wage in Singapore. Yet, thousands of fashion-savvy and investment-minded youngsters flock to designer stores to buy the best of the best leather bags Singapore has to offer.
A primary reason is that leather ages gracefully and develops a patina. Instead of cracking and peeling like PVC or PU, leather gains personality as it matures. It is common to find vintage bags from popular brands on sale on second-hand bag sites for as much as 80% of their sales price.
Leather bags and accessories, in any part of the world, are not just expenses. They are the most stylish investment statements you can make. It is not every day that you can invest your hard-earned money and sling it with panache too!
With every passing day, fashion is becoming more innovative and daring in its own way. However, that does not mean you have to hide your love for hiding. Natural full-grain leather can stick around for years, if not a decade. It can stop you from spending your money on cheaper and less durable materials that do little to save resources.
Full-grain leather can sustain the brunt of daily use along with the occasional assault of spilt drinks, rains, and scorching sun. Your premium Italian leather handbag can see you through your vacations, daily office routine, gym, and weekend parties. It is the one investment you will always love.