Portugal has a thriving fashion and textiles industry, with companies like B_Boheme producing sustainable shoes from vegan leather in the country. Founder Alicia Lai told vegconomist; “We have all heard the terms ‘vegan sausage’, ‘vegan chocolate’ and ‘vegan leather’. These terms are not aiming to mislead consumers but to show that there are no animal ingredients in the product, and these terms are very much accepted”.
The new laws claim that terms such as ‘vegan leather’ are technically incorrect and misleading to consumers, though it appears the Portuguese government is under pressure to protect the traditional leather industry from the unstoppable growth of sustainable leather alternatives. The bio-based leather market is predicted to grow with a CAGR of 47.5% over the next five years, with the vegan leather market expected to hit almost $90 billion by 2025.
Growing consumer enlightenment
“I don’t think a single person seeing the words ‘vegan leather’ thinks the material is made from animal skin, so I simply don’t believe this is about protecting the consumer from misinformation”, Annick Ireland, Founder of ImmaculateVegan.com – a leading vegan fashion and lifestyle platform – told vegconomist.
“The simple truth is that this is nothing to do with consumer transparency and protection, and instead just one more desperate attempt by old, flailing industries to continue their cruel and climactically disastrous practices, in the face of growing consumer enlightenment and change,” added Ireland.