Faux Leather Leggings: Have we been duped?

I don’t know how I can share this with yall without sounding rude but yall – we have been DUPED.  I think we all embraced the rise of the SPANX faux leather legging trend. And the best part, MOST of us thought we were being environmentally conscious by doing so. Faux leather = no animal cruelty….right? We all bought into this idea. These leggings sucked us in, had that awesome shiny but not “I’m headed to a 90’s rave” type finish, could be dressed up for a night out or worn with a t-shirt for a casual look. Every blogger everywhere was sharing multiples ways to style them – we were doing GREAT.

Here is why we were duped:

While these leggings are made from material that does not harm animals, they do have a polyurethane coating. This is what gives them that glossy and shiny look that we all love.

So, while the are better for animals, it may not necessarily be good for us in other ways. (Duped) What worries me is the side effects polyurethane has on our bodies. Polyurethane contains isocyanates, which can cause  harm to your lungs.

To list a few warning/finds about overexposure to polyurethane:

  • Harm to lungs
  • Heavy breathing
  • Skin irritation
  • If you have migraines, extended exposure can lead to swelling of the brain cells which leads to more severed headaches

I am not sure how I personally feel about our level of exposure as a result of wearing leggings that contain polyurethane or have a polyurethane coating. My hesitation starts because polyurethane is already used everywhere around us. I see these leggins  as an additional risk.

On this research journey, of relearning textiles, what they contain and how our bodies are impacted by the chemicals/treatments on textiles that touch our skin, I’ve learned that basically every one of these stretchy, comfortable, buttery soft fabrics has some level of “bad” to it – which is exhausting.

My intentions with writing this post is not to scare anyone into not purchasing something. Instead my intention it help us be educated and aware consumers. I own 3 pairs of faux leather leggings, and a ton of other pieces of clothing that are made with some of the chemicals and treatments I know aren’t the best for us and/or the environment. I’m not going to throw them away, even though I kind of want to now, b/c that would go against the sustainable/ethical fashion path I’m on. I will wear them until they can’t be worn anymore.

Its prevalent here that the greenwashing marketing that has taken over the beauty industry, has also found a home in the fashion industry as well. How absolutely exhausting.


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