Is Vegan Leather Waterproof?

By Divya Kashyap. Updated: August 2022.
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The current era of fashion and fabrics is filled with bustling innovations. The usage of sustainable, non-toxic materials is on the rise. Vegan leather or faux leather is an example of an alternative to real leather. 

Vegan or faux leather uses synthetics to replicate the feel of real leather, without using animal skin. Due to the synthetic top layer, vegan leather is waterproof. But, producing real leather is irreversibly damaging to the environment, the animals, and the workers who manufacture it. To reduce or even eliminate the same in the future, the practice of using vegan leather is recommended. 

What Are The Materials Used To Make Vegan Leather?

Known for being cruelty-free, vegan leather is made from a variety of materials. The most common ones include polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride. The base material of the fabric is coated with a layer of PU or PVC material. 

Other materials used to make vegan leather are pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, fruit waste, and recycled plastic

Can Vegan Leather Get Wet?

Can Vegan Leather Get Wet
Courtesy of Rains

Vegan leather is water resistant. Real Leather absorbs moisture or water and can be damaged. The reason behind it is the usage of synthetic materials. If not entirely waterproof, vegan leather is most often water resistant. 

This is explained by the coating that makes up vegan leather. The most common types of vegan leather are made from plastic, called polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride. Vegan leather made from PU or PVC includes a base material made of cotton, rayon, or other soft fabric. 

The quantity of fabric in the base material may vary. But, the upper layer of such vegan leather is plastic. PU and PVC form the upper layers and are inherently resistant to water. 

This makes plastic-coated vegan leather also resistant to water or moisture. However, the fabric or the padding underneath the plastic may not be waterproof. Hence, vegan leather is a water-resistant material rather than a completely waterproof material. Unlike real leather, vegan leather does not require waterproofing sprays.


The term ‘vegan leather’ implies that it is more environmentally friendly. Some types of vegan leather are sustainable and produce fewer toxins during manufacture. But, this is not the case at all times. 

Some forms of vegan leather do more harm than good to the environment, post-manufacturing. The water resistance of vegan leather may contribute to its durability. But even good-quality vegan leather lasts two years or three at the most. Real leather, on the other hand, lasts decades when maintained well. 

This is important while making a decision about purchasing real or fake leather. It is crucial to weigh the environmental impact of purchasing and replacing vegan leather. The lifespan of vegan leather is less. Genuine leather is a one-time purchase that lasts several years. 

There are pros and cons to the water-resistant properties of vegan leather. Hence, make sure that you conduct your research well. Weigh the features and choose the type of vegan leather that aligns best with your reason for purchase. 

See also: Is Vegan Leather Durable?

Image Credits: Rains Vegan Leather Waterproof Rain Jackets

Divya is a content crafter at Vegan Avenue. She is a long-term happy vegan who is also enthusiastic about slow, mindful living in the company of cats.