Vegan actor Sam Corlett, star of Vikings: Valhalla, recently revealed that his character’s costume is now made from vegan leather created from cactus plants.
In the new Netflix show, Corlett portrays the famous explorer Leif Erikson, who is thought to be one of the first European to have entered the shores of North America.
As the show is set between 1002 and 1066, covering the final years of the Viking age, the characters can be seen wearing costumes made of leather, fur, and wool.
In a recent interview, Corlett shared that he found it challenging to wear his leather costume at the start of the series.
“I hadn’t worn leather in a long time. The costume at the start was all leather, and so that was quite overwhelming,” said Corlett.
However, the head of costume on the show, Susan O’Conner Cave, was quick to design a vegan-friendly armor made of cactus leather for the vegan star.
“It’s a funny mix because you want to be as authentic as possible, which makes sense, but also, you know, the values come in sometimes.”
1 billion animals killed every year for leather
Leather is typically made from the hides of cows and calves, the furthest away from sustainable or ethical. According to PETA, the global leather industry kills more than a billion animals every year.
Vegan leather, made from materials such as cactus leather, cork, and recycled rubber, offers sustainable alternatives to highly unethical and outdated animal leather.
Manufacturers across the globe are releasing more types of vegan leather as vegan leather becomes increasingly popular. In fact, the vegan leather industry is predicted to be worth almost $90 billion by 2025.