Are Moleskine Notebooks Vegan?

Vegans and animal advocates have a valid concern when checking if the products they buy are truly vegan. Even office supplies such as notebooks are sometimes made with leather derived from animal hide, which is why we’re getting to the bottom of the question are Moleskine notebooks vegan? 

Lucky for vegan buyers, Moleskine notebooks are 100% vegan, and they aren’t made of leather or actual moleskin. It’s actually made of several different materials, including cotton cloth, cardboard, and oilcloth. 

No animals are harmed in the process of manufacturing moleskins, but we’re here to explain exactly what they are made of. Keep reading to learn about how these vegan notebooks are made and more. 

How Are Moleskines Vegan?

It’s pretty simple – the company that manufactures and distributes Moleskine notebooks is committed to making these notebooks free of animal products or byproducts. Although the company is known by a name that sounds like it uses the skin of little animals called moles (hence “mole-skin”), this is not the case. 

In fact, generic moleskin material generally isn’t made from animal products or byproducts. While some leatherbound notebooks and journals might make use of suede or hide from animals like lambs, pigs, or calves, Moleskine uses synthetic and plant-based materials. 

Further, on their official website FAQ page, they directly state that their notebooks are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. This is one of the reasons that these notebooks have become so popular, as they appeal to wider audiences, including vegans. 

What Are Moleskines Made Of?

We already established that these notebooks are not actually made from the skin of moles. But they are made from a material that mirrors their namesake – “moleskin”. Moleskin itself is actually a heavier form of cotton material often used to imitate the texture of the soft skin of moles. 

Moleskine – a “fustian fabric” – is made specifically by weaving the cotton into a fabric, then shearing it to create a soft texture on one side. In some cases, however, polyester is used to make moleskin – a synthetic fiber derived from petroleum. Note that many Moleskine notebooks are made from synthetics, including polypropylene and polyurethane. 

Polyesters are usually not biodegradable. However, they do stand the test of time, as they are strong, wrinkle-resistant, and tear-resistant in most cases. 

These durable Moleskine notebooks are designed in Italy and manufactured in China with a combination of:

  • Cardboard
  • Moleskin/oilcloth – close-woven cotton fabric that is coated with boiled linseed oil 

Furthermore, the fact that the oilcloth is coated in boiled linseed oil is what allows the covers of these notebooks to be waterproof. 

Where Moleskine Notebooks Are Made

Many vegans who inquire about the production of Moleskine notebooks and what they’re made of also want to know where they are made. As previously mentioned, they’re designed in Italy, where Moleskine conceives their own unique notebook collections. But, they’re manufactured in the “Far East”, as noted on their company website. 

Moleskine as a company points to East Asia as the origins of paper in the 2nd century A.D., and thus, the origins of their inspiration.

Are Moleskine Notebooks Sustainable?

Although we’ve already established the fact that Moleskine notebooks are vegan, vegans may still be wondering how environmentally-friendly these products are. While they don’t use any animal products in the manufacturing process, you should still be wary of unsustainable practices used in the farming process of cotton. 

If you really want your Moleskine notebook to be made in a sustainable fashion, it should be grown with organic farming practices and pesticide-free. This also ensures that it is biodegradable so you leave less of a footprint on the environment. 

Moleskine notebooks are more sustainable, too, if they are free of polyester fibers, which are synthetic and won’t biodegrade. But even when buying plant-based fiber products, you have to be wary of things like:

  • How much water is used in the farming process
  • The values and ethics of the organic farms that produce the cotton
  • The size of the farm used to farm cotton for the notebooks

Furthermore, Moleskine is committed to using suppliers that must have certifications of social and environmental sustainability in their manufacturing processes. These certifications are issued by major international associations. 

Types of Vegan Moleskines Available 

The nice thing about the Moleskine notebook creators is that they have a wide selection of products suitable for vegan buyers. There are a few different categories of notebooks, including various colors, designs, and cover formats.

The Classic Notebook Hard Cover and the Classic Notebook Soft Cover are some of the most popular Moleskine products sold by the company. They bring a basic Moleskine design to the market for $21.95 and $20.95, respectively. Each of these notebooks comes in a selection of eight different colors that are earth-friendly in their own right, including: Black, Earth Brown, and Myrtle Green.

Moleskine Classic Notebook, Hard Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Ruled/Lined, Black, 240 Pages
  • CLASSIC MOLESKINE NOTEBOOK: Moleskine classic notebooks are perfect notebooks for writing journals, a daily diary, or...

Another vegan Moleskine option is the Cahier journal, which is smaller, thinner, and lightweight. These small journals often come in sets of three for $14.95, and they’re made of cardboard and sustainable, acid-free paper from FSC® -certified forests (meeting the gold standard of ethical production). You can choose from Black, Brisk Blue, Kinetic Pink, and other colors.

Moleskine Cahier Journal, Soft Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Ruled/Lined, Kraft Brown, 80 Pages (Set of 3)
  • MOLESKINE CAHIER: This 5 x 8.25 ruled journal has a flexible heavy-duty customizable cardboard cover, a pocket for loose...

Moleskine even offers limited edition products, such as Chinese zodiac-themed notebooks. The most recent offer is the Year of the Tiger Limited Edition Moleskine x Lok Ng notebook costing $29.00. These ethically produced, durable, unique notebooks make a great addition to any vegan workspace repertoire. 

Moleskine Limited Edition Notebook Year Of The Tiger, Large, Ruled, Graphic 1, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25)
  • Limited Edition Year of The Tiger Notebook: Created to hold a wealth of inspiration, this notebook features lucky colors...

Final Thoughts

When it comes to using sustainable and cruelty-free products, even office supplies should be included in vegan collections. When vegans turn to companies to buy bound notebooks, they often ask are Moleskine notebooks vegan? Luckily, Moleskine has been creating vegan notebooks for a while now. 

Their classic notebook covers, which feature both hard and soft material that resembles leather, are actually made of synthetic fibers. These fibers are sheared and processed in sustainable manufacturing to create the “sheared”, leathery look that is the signature of Moleskine journals. 

If you are looking for a fountain pen to pair with Moleskine notebook check out our recommendation article.

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