A few months ago we partnered with Dribbble for some terrific Gameplan notebooks. Dribbble posted an instragram shot of the Vegan Leather notebook and I was struck (and tickled to be sure) by the comments about “vegan leather” that ensued. After sitting on it I realize that the question, “what is vegan leather” very much deserves an answer.
There is a short answer and a long answer.
Short answer: a material that in sight, touch, and general experience fools you as leather but does not involve any animal products whatsoever.
In full disclosure, we at Bound do not practice a vegan diet. I, personally, am quite close now in 2013 though not 100%. To put that in perspective, I distinctly remember proclaiming with a bizarre and now embarrassing touch of pride at the opening of a KFC in the small town in which I taught English in China, “I suckle at the teat of American fast food.” No joke. That was ten years ago.
Thanks to my wife, I have progressively taken a closer and closer look at what I put in my body as “food.” The seed was planted years ago at Native Foods in Westwood but this year has finally sprouted. (vegetable metaphor language intended)
Since that time, the following have contributed to my dietary transformation:
- Food, Inc
- King Corn
- Forks over Knives
- Food Rules by Michael Pollan (“Eat food. Mostly vegetables. Not too much.”)
- Raw Food SOS blog
- Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
- Personal trial & error
- Living in Brittany where I see pigs, sheep, and cows daily
I am currently and intend to stay:
- Diary-free (cows)
- Zero processed foods
- Vegan with <major> exceptions: local, free-range, organic eggs; local honey; local goat cheese
The long answer is long enough already but otherwise I would go into why I believe pretty strongly in this diet. You’d be better off reading/watching the links above anyway though. It’s also a lot easier for me with a wife that can create magical goodness like buckwheat banana bread. (DISCLAIMER: I do not presume to suggest diets are one-size-fits-all or that my diet should be followed by anyone. Bound is not going on record endorsing or condemning any particular diet. I only share it to add some color to an otherwise boring post about journal cover material.)
When Bound was first starting we tried a leather cover notebook but had to scrap it because it was too expensive, didn’t perform well with our binding, didn’t accept the cover stamp satisfactorily, and felt wrong somehow even though we were all meat eaters. We found a substitute material that solved all the problems and felt even better than the leather. It felt so great that we just couldn’t sell it short calling it “faux leather”, “pleather”, “synthetic leather” or anything of the sort. It deserves better.
After doing some research into what other companies say about their covers, if anything at all, and researching the materials used to make our cover we decided that “vegan leather” was a much more fitting name. We thought for a moment about going the tofurky route and calling it “Vegeather” or “Veather” or “Leagan” but it was a very short moment, thankfully.
So there you have it. The story of Bound’s “Vegan Leather” cover material. Buy one and make these guys happy and free, as all beings everywhere should be.
You are what you eat, and perhaps what you wrap your journal in as well.