Portugal has banned use of the term ‘vegan leather’ and other leather prefixes in marketing because they are technically incorrect and misleading to consumers.
A new Leather Decree in Portugal defines the term #leather (“couro”) and outlines the options for its commercial use.
Under the new laws, expressions such as vegan leather, synthetic leather and pineapple leather will be prohibited and potentially subject to fines and/or criminal proceedings for offenders.
Other countries, including Italy, France, Belgium and Spain have already adopted similar regulations to protect authentic leather and provide greater clarity for consumers.
Portugal’s stance represents a challenge to how leather alternatives are marketed by #fashion brands and manufacturers, although several already seem to have moved away from use of the term vegan leather.
The bigger issue is perhaps the extent to which most leather alternatives on the market contain huge amounts of plastic. Several of the main players in this market are very opaque about this issue.