Mintel predicted 2019 would see a boom in animal-free shoe collections with shoppers of all ages saying they would buy footwear labelled "vegan".
"It seems to be a bit of a buzz word," says Patsy Perry, senior lecturer in fashion marketing at the University of Manchester.
As well as being on trend - and with a much better ring to it than "synthetic leather" - the "vegan" label does convey an important extra distinction, Ms Perry points out.
"If you are labelling it as vegan, the whole product needs to be vegan," she says. That means checking things like the glue that holds the shoe together for example and the chemicals used for finishing them.
At the top end, designers like Stella McCartney - described by Ms Perry as the original pioneer in this area - have shunned leather and fur for some time. Her fashion house is now exploring a leather substitute made from fungi, and looking at replacing silk with yeast proteins.