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How Long Does Vegan Leather Last?

how long does vegan leather last

Curious about ‘How long does vegan leather last? Typically, vegan leather lasts between 2 to 5 years, depending on usage and care.

At Andar, we're experts in handcrafted full-grain leather products, and we believe in carrying what matters.

In this article, we'll explore the durability of vegan leather, factors that affect its lifespan, and how The Leather Care Kit can help extend its life.

Whether you're considering a chic, eco-friendly option or already own vegan leather items, we've got the insights you need to make them last.

What this article covers:

How Durable Is Vegan Leather?

While vegan leather is generally thinner than genuine leather, it still offers excellent durability.

Based on our first-hand experience, vegan leather, particularly when derived from a cork oak tree or cacti, is durable due to their robust fabric structures, innate resistance to moisture and daily wear and tear.

How long does leather last, particularly the vegan variety? With proper care, vegan leather can last up to five years at a time.

We believe in creating premium vegan leather products that stand the test of time. With the aid of The Leather Cream for added protection against everyday wear and tear, you can seamlessly extend the longevity of your vegan leather items, ensuring they remain in excellent condition for years to come.

What Is Vegan Leather Made of?

Vegan leather is crafted from various materials.

At Andar, we use both cork leather and nopal cactus leather, two unique, eco-friendly and sustainable options derived from cork trees and cactus plants. Through our practical knowledge, we have found these materials to be both resilient and luxurious.

Let's look at the differences between organic and synthetic forms of vegan leather.

Table: Organic And Synthetic Vegan Leather



Organic Vegan Leather

  • Sourced from natural materials such as cork, cactus, cotton, rubber, and mushrooms
  • Cork leather is extracted from the bark of cork oak trees and turned into cork fabric
  • Saguaro cactus leather is an eco-friendly alternative and made from the nopal cactus

Synthetic Vegan Leather

  • Typically made from plastic-based materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU)
  • Mimics the look and feel of real leather
  • Lacks breathability and can be less environmentally friendly

Organic Vegan Leather

Organic vegan leather, like our Andar nopal cactus leather, is derived from natural sources, such as:

  • cactus
  • cotton
  • rubber
  • Mushrooms

Let's discuss cork and cactus leather in greater detail.

Cork Leather

Cork leather, harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, is made of cork fabric. The bark is stripped from the trees, which regenerates, creating a renewable material.

After putting it to the test, the cork minimalist wallet version of The Freeman is both lightweight and naturally water-resistant, helping you carry the essentials without any unnecessary bulk.

Cactus Leather

Nopal cactus leather in particular is made by harvesting mature cactus paddles without harming the plant. The paddles are then dried, mashed, and processed into a durable, flexible material. This method not only guarantees sustainability but also results in a leather alternative that’s soft yet resilient.

This can be seen in Saguaro colorway versions of our Andar wallets like The Pilot and The Apollo, and a leather iPhone case like the Blanc version of The Aspen. They offer premium craftsmanship, sleekness, as well as RFID protection for your banking cards.  

This innovative leather manufacturing process uses minimal water and chemicals, making it an ideal choice for eco-conscious consumers.

Synthetic Vegan Leather

Synthetic vegan leather is typically made from plastic-based materials like Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Polyurethane (PU).

While these materials can mimic the look and feel of real leather, they often lack breathability and can be less environmentally friendly.

Our research indicates that synthetic vegan leathers often have a shorter lifespan compared to organic alternatives.

how well does vegan leather hold up

What Else Adds to Vegan Leather's Durability?

In addition to the materials used, our meticulous attention to detail in the manufacturing process significantly contributes to the durability of our vegan leather products.

We prioritize:

  • premium lining
  • precise stitching
  • strong glues
  • impeccable finishing
  • expert craftsmanship

These elements ensure that our leather phone cases and full grain leather bags in particular withstand daily wear and tear, maintaining their integrity over time.

Our commitment to excellence extends beyond just the materials we use, guaranteeing that every product bearing the Andar name is built to last.

What Impacts Vegan Leather's Lifespan?

There are several factors which influence vegan leather's overall longevity.

Maintenance And Care

Drawing from our experience, regular cleaning with a damp, microfiber cloth and our specialized Andar leather cleaner helps preserve its appearance and structural integrity.

Conditioning with our leather conditioner from The Leather Care Kit or The Leather Cream keeps it supple and prevents drying and cracking, enhancing its durability.


The way vegan leather products are used affects their lifespan. That's why we suggest avoiding excessive stretching or folding, as this can weaken the material over time.

Additionally, using vegan leather items for their intended purpose and avoiding excessive wear and tear helps prolong their longevity.

Exposure To Sun And Heat

If you're wondering ‘what does heat do to leather?', prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may cause fading and deterioration of vegan leather.

These high temperatures can lead to cracking, loss of flexibility, or discoloration, which can lead to why leather cracks.

Based on our observations, storing your vegan leather products in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity helps preserve their quality for longer.

leather case for iphone

Environmental And Climatic Conditions

Environmental and climatic conditions play a role in vegan leather's lifespan.

If you're wondering, ‘what causes mold on leather?' or ‘why does leather turn white?' our investigation demonstrated that it's often a result of excessive humidity. This can result in white spots across the surface, promoting mold and mildew growth and damaging your vegan leather products.

Extreme cold can also make the material brittle. Our findings show that storing vegan leather items in a climate-controlled environment helps mitigate these risks, ensuring their longevity.

How Well Does Vegan Leather Hold Up FAQs

How Do You Unwrinkle Vegan Leather?

If you want to know how to fix leather creases or wrinkles, gently heat the material with a hairdryer on low heat, keeping it at a distance to avoid damage. Once warmed, smooth out wrinkles with your hands or a soft cloth made of microfibers.

Alternatively, place a damp cloth made with microfibers over the wrinkles and iron on low heat, being careful not to apply too much pressure.

Can You Distress Vegan Leather?

Vegan leather can be distressed in the following ways:

  • sanding
  • scratching
  • applying chemicals

However, while these methods can achieve a worn look, we've also observed that they may not yield the same results as genuine leather.

How Do I Dye Vegan Leather?

Dyeing vegan leather requires special paints or dyes formulated for synthetic materials.

Through our trial and error, we discovered that you can use acrylic-based paints or fabric dyes designed for use on vegan leather.

Start by preparing the surface and cleaning it thoroughly with our specialized Andar leather cleaner and a damp, microfiber cloth, then leave it to air-dry.

Next, apply the dye evenly with a brush or sponge, and allow it to dry completely before use. Seal the dyed area with a clear protective coating to enhance durability.

thin wallet


In wrapping up our discussion on ‘how long does vegan leather last?', it's evident that it provides a renewable alternative to real leather.

With ongoing innovations, vegan leather's quality and durability are constantly improving. Remember, proper care and maintenance play a crucial role in extending its lifespan.

Ready to experience the blend of sustainability and style?

Explore our handcrafted, vegan-friendly leather wallets and leather phone cases and join us in making a conscious choice for the planet without compromising on elegance.

Carry what matters with us at Andar now!

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