Recently, I was visiting a client’s home that I had designed over a year ago. As I was walking through the residence, I couldn’t help but notice that every room in the entire house contained one or more items made with animal skins. The living room showcased large leather swivel chairs, an oversized horsehair ottoman was in another room, and suede sofas and wool area rugs had been placed throughout. A few months ago, I would have considered this project one of my finest. Walking through the spaces now was a nightmare. I felt as if a complete stranger had designed the place.

Take a few seconds right now and look around you. I would bet that within the space that surrounds you, there is an item made with animal skin or fur. It could be an office chair, sofa, car seat, desk blotter, blanket, or pillow, perhaps.

As an interior designer and animal lover, I recently made a decision to design spaces that are cruelty-free (vegan). I no longer use any items made with animal skins, fur, or feathers. The inhumane and cruel treatment of animals raised and killed solely for their parts for industries throughout the world, including home furnishings, was brought to my attention by PETA. Once I understood the harsh reality, I never looked back. Animals should be treated with love and respect and be safe.

Creating vegan spaces is not a difficult feat. My mission is to educate and bring awareness to as many others as I can about compassionate design.

Last month, I wrote an article for PETA about down feather alternatives. This month, I’m going to provide you with information about faux-leather options. But first, let’s understand the reality of the leather industry:

  • Each year, the global leather industry kills more than a billion animals. One billion!
  • China is the world’s largest exporter of leather. The skins used for leather come from cows, sheep, dogs, and cats who have suffered in ways that one would not dare to imagine. Over 2 million dogs and cats are tortured and killed for their skins each year. Most of us, including me until recently, cannot begin to comprehend that a leather sofa could be made of the skin of dogs. These poor animals are typically skinned alive and cut to pieces until they bleed to death.
  • Animal skins used for furnishings made in Italy, the U.S., and other countries typically come from countries with nonexistent animal welfare protections. The animals have been severely abused. The truth is ugly and horrific.
  • Animals aren’t the only ones who suffer. Poor and desperate children in Bangladesh stand barefoot in toxic chemicals while using knives to cut the skins of the animals.

It has to stop, and you can make a difference. Be present in 2016! By making ethical choices, you can help save animals and children from suffering.

Leather Alternatives for the Home

Faux leather was invented in the early 20th century. It’s a trendy, chic option that can be made from nylon, cork, or polyester. It’s soft, stain-resistant, and both more durable and much less expensive than leather. Plus, it looks exactly like animal leather.

Most major home furnishings stores and online retailers, such as Wayfair and Rooms To Go, offer faux-leather options. They are available in many price ranges and are more affordable than leather! Have I mentioned that already?

Microfiber was invented in 1970 by Japanese scientist Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto. Microfiber is made of polyester, nylon, rayon, acetates, or a combination of these materials. They’re soft, extremely durable, and stain-resistant, and they stand up well to animal companions and children. They’re also easy to vacuum and very affordable. Microsuede (trademarked as Ultrasuede), part of the microfiber family, looks and feels like suede leather. Most importantly, it’s cruelty-free.

Each and every one of us has the power to make a change. Start 2016 cruelty-free. Protect the Earth’s animals. Go vegan in all ways, including your choice of furniture.

Next month, “veganizing your space 101” will focus on wool alternatives.

I look forward to inspiring others to make humane choices when decorating their spaces discover more about painter Dublin. I will show you endless, beautiful, stylish, and comfortable options. I’m here to help. I welcome all questions, comments, thoughts, and ideas. I hope my passion and excitement about vegan design jump off this page and touch you.

Vegan Leahter Couch
Vegan Chair

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In case you missed it 🌸

Have you taken our newest beginner course?!
Learn more about the Online Nursery & Kids Room Design Course.
Need help finding non-toxic and cruelty-free furniture & decor?
Check our Resource Guide (150+ brands!)
Need help creating a safe & healthy home for you & your family?
BOOK US for a 20-minute call!
Need even more family-friendly home design tips?
Check out our FREE 23 Chemical and Cruelty Free Design Tips Sheet
Here’s a link to a financial guide for parents of children with disabilities
Why go vegan on your mattress
Meghan Markle and her choice of nursery paint
Apps for kids with Autism
Check out a complete guide to renovating your kitchen
Creating a Chemical Stress-Free Home
Bentley Goes Vegan and Leather Alternatives 101


Mushroom & jellyfish leather interior: Bentley eyes producing Vegan-friendly cars
VEGE-CAR-IAN Mushroom leather and jellyfish dashboards could be the vegan future of cars, says Bentley
What is protein leather/protein leatherette?
A start-up is imagining how mushrooms may be turned into leather
Where to Get Muskin (Mushroom Leather)
The Next Leather Jacket Will Be Made From Mushrooms

Just a heads up, this article may contain links to affiliate sites, products or services. If you purchase something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more! The affiliate simply provides us with a small commission which helps us fund our operations, promoting healthy & compassionate interior decorating.

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Say hello to Deborah!

I’m Deborah! My mission is to show others by demonstration, that no living being, human & non, be sacrificed for beautiful, non toxic, healthy & durable furniture & decor. More about me.

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