I’ve put together this breakdown of the cruelty free fabrics we use at White Rhino Bags. You can also use the following symbols which are displayed when you visit any item on our shop page. They are there to help guide you and provide quick additional information about any individual item.
We prioritize quality, durability and sustainability when sourcing fabrics. All while keeping the end-user in mind to provide a product that adds value to your day-to-day, is functional and can be purchased at an accessible price-point for the everyday person.
No materials sold here are reliant on animal derived materials - we adore animals and would never sacrifice a life in the name of fashion.
Cork leather is a plant-based, animal-free leather alternative produced from the Cork Oak tree. It is a very soft, extremely durable, eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to animal-derived leathers. It comes in a variety of colors and textures some of which maintain the unique cork-like look and others which are pressed or printed to mimic animal skin textures such as snake or cow-hide. It ticks all the boxes in terms of the qualities and values that we hold dear as a brand and are looking forward to creating all sorts of wonderful things with this versatile textile. Learn even more about cork leather here.
Our vegan leather items are made from man-made PU and some vinyl fabrics that have the look and feel of animal-hide leather without the loss of life. PU fabric is incredibly durable, easy to clean, water-resistant and has a texture which convincingly imitates animal-derived leathers brilliantly. We ethically source our fabric from manufacturers who adhere to ISO manufacturing standards and in order to be as sustainable as possible with these man-made materials we utilize fabrics that are already in existence. Rather than using up more resources to produce new fabric we take the homeless overstock from larger manufacturers and turn it into something usable that will add value to your everyday. We prefer PU over Vinyl as it is the least impact of the Polymers. To learn more about vegan leathers and why we don’t support the use of animal-derived leathers check out our dedicated blog post here.
Having had a long career in fashion and garment manufacturing the realities of waste that happens in the production phase of creating any good is all too real. Specifically in the cutting step of manufacturing the scraps of leftover fabrics can add up quickly. To combat that we up-cycle these fabric bits or by-products of manufacturing as often as possible. During the conception and design process we take usage into consideration to minimize fabric wastage (and in doing so save on fabric costs which saves you in the end) We are always looking at ways that we can minimize our footprint.
Other Cruelty-free Leathers
It is such an amazing time to be alive as the world is shifting more and more towards sustainable, animal free, and ethical options not just in the fashion industry but for human-kind as a whole!
There have been many new and developing textile options that we can’t wait to incorporate into future designs as soon as they become readily available. For example there’s Piñatex - an eco-friendly vegan leather produced from pineapple leaves and husk that are left-over when pineapples are processed for consumption. There are also mushroom-based leathers starting to appear on the market, seaweed-derived plastic alternatives, eco-friendly and animal-free silk alternatives all springing up in the textiles market that we are just itching to incorporate into future designs.
We are constantly researching, inquiring and acquiring swatches for these amazing materials as they become available however it is extremely important for us to be an accessible brand and to make vegan fabrics the norm by being able to offer competitively-priced alternatives. Many of these newer and developing textiles are only offered in large wholesale quantities that are outside our reach, or at a price point that small-sized competitive design houses like ours can’t implement quite yet.
But trust me - we are watching like hawks. Every purchase you make from us supports our ability to grow and builds our brand power - and as we grow we will be able to do more and offer the most progressive vegan, eco and sustainable goods for every being. That is our mission!