By Application (Furnishing, Automotive, Footwear, Bags & wallets, Clothing, Others)
The global demand has seen a paradigm shift due to rising application across furnishing, automotive, clothing, bags and others. Footwear emerged as the largest application segment and accounted for over 34% of the total market revenue in 2015. Its application is getting nearer to genuine leather and is replacing its applications in handbags, briefcases, car furnishings and clothing at a pacing rate.
Rising income and economic growth has fuelled the demand in footwear segment. In addition, the market will also continue to grow led by variations occurring in climatic conditions of each country, which needs different types of footwear. Increasing athleisure trend of incorporating athletic shoes in daily lifestyle is also expected to propel the demand in footwear application segment.
The price of a faux leather footwear is three times cheaper than footwear made up from animal hide, which enables large volume purchases, particularly from middle income class groups. Also these foot wears have long durability and are offered in several designs.
Furnishing industry is one of the major application area of the market. As it has become more affordable than animal hide its application in furnishing has emerged. In order to serve varied requirements in furnishing, wide range of synthetic leather is available in market depending on colour, texture and fabric look. Ongoing research and development in this industry has enabled artificial alternatives to be available for marine furnishing as it is salt water resistant.
Faux leather is used in cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and agricultural vehicles as it is lighter than animal hide. High elasticity enables comfort and develops resistance against hot & cold temperatures, alcohol and water. It also increases the durability and eases the maintenance. Polyurethane is majorly used in automotive as it is softer and does not give a sticky feel like an animal skin provides. Thus, owing to these advantages several OEM manufacturers prefer it over real leather for applications in this segment.
Application segment of the global market has increased in manufacturing bags and wallets. They have attained tremendous popularity as they are softer and have high durability. These bags are lightweight, breathable, waterproof, scratch proof and are easy to maintain. Cheaper cost has been a major factor which has contributed to the demand in this segment.
As textile technology is evolving consumer are preferring vegan fashion, which refers to adopting non-leather products. Synthetic leather is the most suitable alternative as it is cheaper and is available in several designs & colours. PU is also used in clothing where it is used to create spandex and to add buoyancy to competitive swimsuits.
Asia Pacific dominated the overall market in 2015 and accounted for over 40% of the overall market revenues. The footwear and automobile industry is anticipated to grow at a rapid rate during the forecast period. China, India and South Korea are expected to be the major growth drivers. Rising disposable income coupled with increasing population pose huge avenues for growth in demand. The region also has
China is the largest revenue generating region in Asia Pacific. The country has a rapidly growing automotive and footwear industry, which are vital application segments. It mainly imports faux leather from India, Korea and Italy. China constitutes around 25% of the global production. It is also among major consumers of animal skin in wide application segments such as automotive, furnishing and clothing.
North America and Europe are expected to observe moderate growth owing to rising trend of adopting cruelty free products. Moreover, animal right laws in several countries have become a major hurdle for natural leather manufacturers. Growing awareness among consumers regarding animal killings mainly owing to the programs run by organizations such as PETA, PAWS, WWF and others has played a major role in increasing demand for other alternatives. Furthermore, the supply demand gap in the natural leather industry is another major factor which is responsible for manufacturers opting artificial alternatives.
Wide product range offered by leading fashion brands such as Baggit, Zara, Puma, Nike and others is further propelling demand for overall market in developed countries.