What does it mean for boxing gloves to be vegan? Veganism is about eating vegetables. Boxing gloves don’t eat vegetables, and they definitely aren’t edible. So, what’s the deal? Veganism is about more than dietary choices, it is about reducing suffering as much as possible. For many people veganism is a lifestyle focused primarily on boycotting animal agriculture, because this is an extremely effective method to reduce suffering of animals, people, and the environment. Raising animals and turning them into food, clothing and other products is torturous for the animals, ridiculously wasteful of grain and water that many starving humans could use, and devastatingly pollutes our ecosystem.
Back to boxing gloves: Sanabul has always had a vision of making superior quality training equipment that nearly all athletes can use and enjoy. We don’t want to leave out vegans, vegetarians, environmentalists, and many others who don't use leather, so we are on a constant search to source premium materials not made from animals. We have had great success with synthetic leathers thus far.
Looking forward, we are now using natural plant based leathers starting with a cactus based leather in our Los Cactus boxing glove. As plants go, cactus must be some of the toughest. They barely need water, and are covered in spikes, it kinda makes perfect sense to turn them into boxing gloves.
Our sustainability focus has a big impact on the quality of our products. If you define quality as doing less harm to the environment, Sanabul materials have a significantly smaller carbon footprint than animal based leathers. If you define quality as not harming animals, the fact we have never used animal products or byproducts in our equipment brings you value. If human rights factor into your definition of quality, you’ll appreciate that our factories are ISO 9001 and Sedex certified.
If you use a strict product performance definition of quality, you are primarily considering material durability and construction quality. Sanabul san-tech synthetic and cactus leathers will out perform any other material (animal hide or synthetic) currently available at a similar price point. There are of course various price points for all materials, but we live in an amazing time now. We have synthetic alternatives at every pricing tier that are equal to or better than animal based leathers in all ways including durability. So if you’ve got a budget of $30 for gloves and both Sanabul and another brand’s gloves will last about the same length of time, why not buy a pair that has less carbon footprint and is more sustainable than animal based gloves?
Tanning leather actually uses a lot of chemicals that are extremely harmful to factory workers and the environment. Recent studies such as the following show significant differences between materials and their comparative impacts on the environment.
Vegan means different things to different people. For some it’s simply a plant based diet. We don’t make anything edible yet, so I hope no one is eating Sanabul products. For some people veganism includes environmental benefits and sustainability. Sustainability is a core value at Sanabul. We want the best for fighters and athletes today as well as for future generations. Increasing volumes of research are pointing to shifting away from animal agriculture and commerce as a critical component of sustainability. Most vegans (and many non vegans) choose not to wear leather.
For more information check out our materials page