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Someone wearing a second hand leather jacket by Reformation.
01 Dec
Someone wearing a second hand leather jacket by Reformation.

8 Sustainable, Cruelty-Free, and Vegan Leather Jackets You’ll Love

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Love the look of leather jackets but prefer to sport cruelty-free or vegan clothes? Here’s our list of ethical and sustainable leather jackets from high-rated brands.

The timelessness of a leather jacket

Leather jackets have been a timeless wardrobe staple since the 1950s. Synonymous with “cool” and “edgy”, they are conventionally made with animal skins. However, there’s nothing cool about the harsh realities of leather production, and a lot of fashion-lovers would rather edge away from the distinct impacts on people, the planet, and, of course, our animal friends.

What’s wrong with animal leather jackets?

Due to complex supply chains, most of the world’s leather is untraceable, which means ensuring the welfare of the sentient beings whose skins we wear isn’t easy. What we do know is that leather production requires excess use of precious water and dangerous chemicals, harming both the environment and the workers involved. And from an ethical standpoint—whether you steer clear of all animal products or simply prefer to wear cruelty-free fashion—there are certainly better options out there.

So is vegan leather better?

It seems like every other day a new vegan leather alternative crops up. While traditional “vegan leather” is often made from environmentally-damaging materials like plastic-based PVC or the slightly better option of PU, more sustainable and innovative options like Piñatex, recycled rubber, and cactus leather are available. Having said that, it is worth noting that animal leather production can outweigh even PVC on the planet damage front, and tanned leather—which makes up about 90% worldwide—is so coated in chemicals before being sold that it cannot effectively biodegrade. Yes, even vegetable tanned leather. Some innovative plant-based leathers may still contain polyester for strength and durability, but are still often a more sustainable (and ethical) option than new leather garments.

While no option is perfect, it is up to you to decide which fabrics best align with your values and go from there. Like most choices in life, there are pros and cons. And remember, opting for second hand—whether animal leather or otherwise—is almost always the most sustainable way to go. We have included plant-based and synthetic vegan, recycled animal leather, and second hand options below to suit your needs.

If you want to get your hands on a leather jacket, there are a selection of brands devoted to making fashion a kinder industry, and we have rounded up the best of the best. From cactus leather jackets to recycled rubber jackets, “cool and edgy” done ethically is just around the corner

Vegan leather jackets


Rated: Great
A recycled vegan leather biker jacket by Culthread.

LONSDALE Vegan Leather Biker Jacket – Ships internationally from the UK

Culthread is a UK-based clothing label that offers stylish, practical, and everlasting jackets and accessories from vegan and deadstock materials, like this vegan leather biker jacket. Culthread’s goal is to make quality coats and lifestyle products that you will want to wear and treasure forever. Find most items in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Culthread.

Shop Culthread @ Immaculate Vegan.

Will’s Vegan Store

Rated: Good
A brown vegan suede biker jacket by Will's Vegan Store.

Vegan Suede Biker Jacket – Ships internationally from the UK

Will’s Vegan Store produces animal and human friendly women’s and men’s footwear, clothing, and accessories at affordable prices. If you prefer a brown suede leather jacket, this classic biker style would pair well with anything from mini skirts to skinny jeans. Find the clothes in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Will’s Vegan Store.

Shop Will’s Vegan Store @ Immaculate Vegan.

Angels Ambition

Rated: Good
woman and close up of vegan leather jacket by Angels Ambitions

Xenia – Ships within Europe from Germany

German brand Angels Ambition was founded in 2016 by Karin Schönbuchner and is based on the idea of ​​combining multifunctionality with current fashion trends while still producing timeless, high-quality clothing. How cool is this Piñatex vegan leather jacket? The range is available in sizes 34-46.

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Shop Angels Ambition.


Rated: Not Good Enough
man wearing a green cactus leather jacket by deadwood

Men’s River Cactus Green – Ships internationally from Sweden

Celebrating ageless rebellion and free-spiritedness, Stockholm-based Deadwood creates recycled leather clothes, aiming to reinvent how we think about fashion. It recycles cut-offs created during the manufacturing process and traces suppliers in all of its supply chain. It also has a range of clever cactus leather options, like this men’s green cactus leather jacket that we can’t get enough of. Find the garments in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Deadwood @ Labell-D.

Shop Deadwood.

Recycled leather jackets

Better World Fashion

Rated: Good
close up of a black leather jacket by Better World Fashion

EIK #0051 – Ships internationally from Denmark

Better World Fashion makes leather jackets made of reused leather. It aims to be zero waste, use zero chemicals, and waste zero water. BWF’s jackets are made from 98% recycled materials, such as recycled leather, discarded plastic bottles, and even recycled metal for the zippers. The EIK takes the look of a denim jacket and does it in recycled leather, and we’re digging it. BWF also has an option for you to rent jackets for a monthly fee if you only want it for a special occasion or just to try it out (they even offer free world-wide shipping). Find unique designs in XS-3XL.

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Shop Better World Fashion.


Rated: Good
person in black deadstock leather blazer by Hyer Goods

Deadstock Leather Blazer – Ships internationally from the US

HYER GOODS is an NY-based, leather goods label that curates hand-made products including handbags, wallets, and accessories. By upcycling “trash” it eliminates the massive energy footprint for materials, reduces waste being sent to landfill, and you get luxe creations like this Deadstock Leather Blazer. With a vintage nod, this limited edition piece cut from leather leftovers, is all quality with a soft feel and loose fit. Find it in sizes S-L.

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Vintage and second hand leather jackets

One Vintage

Rated: Good
woman wearing a second hand leather jacket by one vintage

Harley Original 60s Biker Jacket – Ships internationally from the UK

One Vintage transforms antique textiles and relics to create contemporary and modern new pieces, preserving the rich beading and embroidery once hand crafted. It also has a range of pure vintage pieces, like this rare Harley Davidson leather biker jacket from the 60s. Sizes vary.

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Shop One Vintage.

Reformation (Pre-Owned)

Rated: Good
two women wearing second hand leather jackets by Reformation

Second Hand Leather Jackets – Ships internationally

LA-based Reformation creates killer clothes that don’t kill the environment. The brand also ensures that a large proportion of its suppliers pay a living wage. Go Reformation! Check in on Vestiaire Collective for second hand Reformation leather jackets. Sizes vary.

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Shop Reformation Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

COS (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
two women wearing second hand leather jackets by COS

Second Hand Leather Jackets – Ships internationally

COS is a Swedish brand that creates timeless and innovative wardrobe-essentials. It uses some eco-friendly materials and received a score of 71-80% in the Fashion Transparency Index. Discover Vestiaire Collective’s range of pre-loved COS leather jackets. Sizes vary.

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Shop COS Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Editor's note

Feature image via Deadwood, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. We love to recommend some of the best more responsible brands, rated “Good” or “Great”. We also encourage shopping pre-owned as another great way to reduce the impact of our fashion choices. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands.

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