Beyond Leather Materials partners with Veshin

© Beyond Leather Materials/Veshin

Leather Alternatives

Beyond Leather Materials & Veshin Factory Collaborate to ‘Redefine the Material Landscape’ with Upcycled Apple Waste

Beyond Leather Materials, a Danish scale-up producing an alternative to animal leather, has announced a partnership with the sustainably progressive design and manufacturing facility Veshin. Using apple waste from European juice and cider production, Beyond Leather Materials produces an 89% bio-based leather alternative called Leap. Through the new partnership, the two companies will use the material to create products for various markets, including the fashion, home, and furniture sectors. The collaboration will allow brands worldwide to easily source and manufacture products made with Leap. Veshin Factory has been chosen due to its focus on next-gen alternatives to animal-derived materials, along with its commitment to ethical practices and transparency. The facility specializes in luxury bags and accessories made with materials that prioritize the well-being of animals, …

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Apple waste for upcycled leather

© Beyond Leather Materials

Leather Alternatives

Beyond Leather Materials Launches Full-Scale Production of Alt Leather from Upcycled Apple Waste

Danish startup Beyond Leather Materials, a producer and supplier of  Leap — an innovative alternative to traditional leather — announces a significant commercialization milestone: transitioning from R&D to a fully operational B2B supplier, ready to offer its innovative material to various industries. Leap, which stands for “LEftover APples,” utilizes waste from European juice and cider producers to create a biobased material of which every square meter prevents approximately 1.8kg of apple pulp from ending up in landfills. Now, Beyond Leather Materials has launched its first full-scale production line in Germany, marking a significant milestone in revolutionizing the industry through the innovative use of apple waste. Mikael Eydt, CEO and co-founder of Beyond Leather Materials, shares: “More than 6 years of product development and intensive R&D have …

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A collage of the brands that have partnered with Spiber

© Spiber Inc.

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Spiber Raises Over JPY10 Billion for Mass Production of Fermented Proteins for Materials

Spiber Inc., a Japanese biotech “brewing” sustainable materials for the fashion, automotive, and personal care industry, announces it has raised over JPY10 billion (around $65M) in equity financing. Spiber has raised a total funding of $489 million over 9 rounds. The funding, which included additional investments from existing shareholders, will allow the company to accelerate mass production of its innovative Brewed Protein materials and facilitate global sales.  Founded in 2007, Spiber uses precision fermentation and polymer and material science to develop protein-based alternatives to animal and petrochemical materials. Its polymers can be used to make spider silk, wool, cashmere, leather, fur, and more. The company already operates biomanufacturing plants in Thailand and is building another in Iowa, USA. Kazuhide Sekiyama, Director and Representative Executive Officer …

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Sokito drops kangaroo leather

© Sokito

Shoes

Football Boot Brand Sokito Drops Kangaroo Leather in Favour of Vegan Materials

UK-based football boot brand Sokito has announced that it will stop using kangaroo leather due to increasing ethical concerns about the material. In a statement, Sokito explains that the material was once thought to be a sustainable byproduct of kangaroos killed to keep the population in check, but figures now show that the kangaroo population is declining rapidly. This indicates that they are being killed for profit rather than just population control. Furthermore, the killing of kangaroos is not monitored and is often done unethically, with joeys sometimes killed alongside their mothers or left to starve when their mothers are killed. It is also believed that the number of kangaroos in the wild has been inflated, meaning the population is much lower than official figures …

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AMSilk and BRAIN Biotech successfully improve structural proteins for performance biomaterials.

© BRAIN Biotech

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

AMSilk and BRAIN Biotech Achieve Milestone in Biodegradable Materials Performance

German Biotech AMSilk GmbH and BRAIN Biotech, a leading provider of solutions for the biologization industry, have been working for a year to create top-notch protein-based fibers for the performance materials sector. Now, at the end of the first phase of the collaboration, they announce that they have successfully optimized a specific natural structural protein for high-performance biomaterials and registered the first patent application for this optimization process — marking a significant milestone for the future sustainable textile industry. Recently, Gudrun Vogtentanz, CSO at AMSilk, commented: “Together with BRAIN Biotech, we are bringing tailor-made material solutions to the market that not only meet the needs of customers but are sustainable. This will enable us to revolutionize the performance materials market in the long term, which is currently dominated …

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Meat Analogue developed by Lund University

© Lund University

Science

Lund University Researchers Uncover Optimal Raw Material Blend for the Most Appealing Plant-Based Meat

Food technology researchers at Lund University in Sweden have found the best raw material combination to make the most appetizing plant-based meat using extrusion: wheat gluten and hemp seed. The research, led by Karolina Östbring and Jeanette Purhagen, focuses on creating alternatives that mimic the texture and consistency of real meat, addressing the common complaint that vegan food does not deliver the “meaty” experience.   Focusing on texture, temperature, and taste — the three “Ts” — the team discovered a way to introduce chewiness into vegetable meat by imitating muscle fibers, using an extruder and various raw materials.  According to Purhagen, extruders are essential for producing meat analogs with suitable, long fibers, providing the desired chewy texture that people appreciate in meat.  Finding the optimal combination  …

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Mogu has secured €11 million to develop high-quality mycelium solutions for the fashion, interior design, and automotive industries.

© Mogu

Investments & Finance

Italy’s Mogu Raises €11M to Expand Mycelium Materials for Interior Design, Fashion, and Cars

Mogu Srl, an Italian material innovation firm, announces that it has secured €11 million in Series A funding to develop high-quality mycelium solutions for the interior design, fashion, and automotive industries. The company also shares that it will rebrand in a few weeks as SQIM, its widely recognized name. CDP Venture Capital and ECBF VC co-led round with the additional participation of Kering Ventures and previous investor Progress Tech Transfer. The new capital will allow the company to capitalize on its proprietary technological platform by scaling to industrial volumes. In addition, Mogu will further R&D projects in material innovation, open a new demo production plant, and expand its team, “attracting and retaining premier industry talents.” Maurizio Montalti, Chief Mycelium Officer and co-founder of Mogu/SQIM, comments: “This …

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Gucci Billie Eilish

Photo by Tyrell Hampton © Gucci

Fashion, Design & Beauty

Billie Eilish Teams Up with Gucci to Debut Iconic Horsebit Bag in Animal-Free Material

Luxury fashion house Gucci announces the launch of its latest iteration of the iconic Horsebit 1955 bag, this time crafted in Demetra, an animal-free alternative material that Gucci has developed in-house. Developed over two years by Gucci’s team of technicians and artisans, Demetra is composed of 75% plant-derived raw materials, including bio-based polyurethane made from non-GMO wheat and corn, plant-based viscose, and wood pulp. This marks the first time that Gucci has used the Demetra material to recreate one of its bags, and the launch is accompanied by a campaign featuring musician Billie Eilish. Eilish, known for her commitment to a vegan lifestyle, told Vogue, “I am honored to be part of Gucci’s evolution in rethinking tradition. It’s a new understanding, and one that isn’t …

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A black jacket made with GOZEN's vegan and plastic-free biomaterial

© GOZEN

Leather Alternatives

GOZEN Secures $3.3M to Produce Plastic-Free Vegan Biomaterial (Stronger than Animal Leather) at Scale

US biomaterials startup GOZEN announces a $3.3 million raise in a seed funding round to scale the production of LUNAFORM, a vegan and plastic-free biomaterial made by microorganisms. The biobased material has multiple applications in the fashion, automotive, and home furnishings industries. Recently, the novel fabric made its debut at Paris Fashion Week in a Balenciaga LUNAFORM Maxi Bathrobe Coat.  Happiness Capital led the round with investors Accelr8, Astor Management, and SOSV, also recognizing GOZEN’s potential to transform the industry through biology. “At GOZEN, we produce advanced biomaterials with the potential to unlock circular design. With this investment, we’ve shown that we have a path to delivering on that potential at scale,” says Ece Gozen, founder and CEO of the biomaterials company. The new funds will also enable the company …

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Biomaterials company Bolt Threads has announced plans to become a public company listed on the Nasdaq through a SPAC agreement.

Dan Widmaier - Image courtesy of Ashley Batz for Bolt Threads

Investments & Finance

Bolt Threads Enters $250 Million SPAC Agreement to Go Public on Nasdaq with Sustainable Biomaterials

Biomaterials company Bolt Threads has announced it will become a public company listed on the Nasdaq through a SPAC agreement that values the company (Bolt Threads) at $250 million.  A pioneer in biomaterials with two sustainable products in the market, Mylo™ and b-silk™, the company will merge with Golden Arrow Merger Corp. (Nasdaq: GAMC). After the closing of the deal, the combined company will be named “Bolt Projects Holdings, Inc.” and is expected to remain listed on Nasdaq under “BSLK”. Dan Widmaier, founder and CEO of Bolt Threads, will lead the new company.  Mylo bag ©Bolt Threads Distributing biomaterials According to the statement, the concurrent financing deals are expected to provide at least $35 million of gross proceeds to the company, including fully committed common stock PIPE of up …

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© Balenciaga/Gozen

Textiles

Balenciaga Partners With GOZEN to Use Animal-Free Material Made by Microorganisms

Following substantial controversy in the media since November of last year, French fashion house Balenciaga has joined forces with US biomaterials startup GOZEN to make garments from an animal-free and plastic-free material made by microorganisms. Called LUNAFORM, the material is formed when microorganisms make ultra-crystalline patterns with the aid of nutrients and natural agents. While plant-based leather alternatives are typically made from a mixture of materials, LUNAFORM comes from a single process, meaning it is stronger than most of its competitors — including animal leather. Balenciaga has used the material to design its Maxi Bathrobe Coat, part of the fashion house’s Summer 24 collection. The coat was recently exhibited at Paris Fashion Week and follows two years of collaboration between the companies, with GOZEN working …

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Mushroom packaging ©Ecovative

Materials

Ecovative Opens Access to Patent for Plastic-Free Mycelium-Based Materials

Ecovative, a US developer of sustainable mycelium-based technologies, has announced that it is opening access to a European patent for its plastic-free MycoComposite™ materials. All individuals and businesses in Europe can now use the materials in their innovations, providing a sustainable alternative to plastics and environmentally damaging chemicals. The patent outlines a blueprint for the creation of mycelium composites, which have the potential to cut carbon emissions across multiple industries. According to Ecovative, the patent is already in use worldwide in industries such as packaging, construction materials, architecture, and more. Interest in entrepreneurial applications of MycoComposite is reportedly increasing sharply in Europe, and Ecovative hopes to test the potential of open-access patents to spur innovation in mycelium technologies. “Picks and shovels” The news comes a …

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Modern Meadow banner

© Modern Meadow

Materials

Modern Meadow and BASF Collaborate to Develop Innovative Animal-Free Biomaterials

Biotechnology company Modern Meadow has entered into a strategic partnership with chemical company BASF to launch a collaboration to revolutionize the materials industry. This strategic collaboration will combine Modern Meadow’s cutting-edge biofabrication expertise with BASF’s renowned Ultramid® Ccycled® material, paving the way for the creation of a modern, sustainable, and animal-free material of the future. Bio-VERA™, an innovative substrate from Modern Meadow, integrates BASF’s Ultramid® Ccycled® solution and is based on Modern Meadow’s Bio-Alloy™ technology. By combining post-consumer waste and bio-renewable alternatives, this innovative technology is said to deliver a highly sustainable and luxurious material with exceptional performance capabilities. Bio-VERA™ is a sustainable biomaterial that reduces dependence on traditional animal sources while minimizing the environmental impact of production using plant-based and recycled raw materials. Modern …

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Spiber / Cavia brewed materials

© Spiber Inc.

Textiles

Cavia Presents New Brewed Protein Materials in Cooperation with Spiber

Spiber‘s Brewed Protein fiber was selected by Kering’s Material Innovation Lab (MIL) and Fondazione Pitti Discovery for the 7th edition of “S|Style sustainable style”. A collection was exhibited at Pitti Immagine Uomo from 13 to 16 June. The exhibition project “S|Style sustainable style” presented by Fondazione Pitti Discovery attracted top international buyers and media representatives and provided a platform for ten international and diverse fashion brands selected from around the world by journalist and curator of L’Officiel Italia, Giorgia Cantarini. According to the organizers, the ten emerging brands from the fashion industry embody “a harmonious blend of social awareness and environmental responsibility while maintaining creativity and design”. “The brewed-protein materials developed by Spiber are a powerful example of how technology can reduce the fashion industry’s …

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Arda Biomaterials

© Arda Biomaterials

Investments & Acquisitions

Arda Biomaterials Raises £1.1M to Turn Beer Waste Into Plastic-Free Alt Leather

The UK’s Arda Biomaterials, a producer of plastic-free upcycled leather alternatives, has raised £1.1 million in a funding round led by Clean Growth Fund. Other participants included Plug and Play, Serpentine Ventures, Satgana, and various angel investors. Arda uses waste barley from the beer brewing industry to produce a material called New Grain, which has the potential to be used in the fashion, home goods, and automotive industries. The company is based in The Leather Market building near London Bridge, and is working with breweries in South London’s ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’ — once a leather tanning district. Arda was founded last year by Edward TJ Mitchell, who holds a PhD in chemistry, and Brett Cotten, who has extensive experience in the alt protein sector. In …

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Trash Planet unleashes new collection of vegan and recyclable sneakers and boots

© Trash Planet

Products & Launches

Trash Planet Launches Sustainable Vegan Footwear Made From Apple Leather & Recycled Materials

Sustainable footwear company Trash Planet has unveiled its new collection of vegan and eco-friendly sneakers and boots. Crafted from sustainable and recycled materials such as apple leather, corn, rubber, and polyester canvas, Trash Planet’s new innovative footwear collection is cruelty-free and environmentally responsible. The company describes it as “a game-changer in the industry’s quest for genuinely greener options.”  Based in the UK, Trash Planet aims to revolutionise the fashion industry and set a new standard for sustainable fashion by pioneering the use of recycled materials to create cutting-edge recyclable fashion pieces.  “We are beyond excited to introduce our newest collection of vegan, recycled, and recyclable sneakers and boots,” said Holly Boxall, head of design at Trash Planet. Guilt-free fashion The vegan leather used for the …

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AMSilk spider web

Image: AMSilk on Instagram

Materials

AMSilk Secures Additional €25M, Totalling €54M for Bioproduced Silk Protein Materials

AMSilk GmbH, a German provider of biofabricated silk protein materials, has announced a successful €25 million raise in its extended Series C round, bringing the total to €54 million. The additional funding was led by previous investor ATHOS (AT Newtec), with contributions from Novo Holdings, Cargill, and MIG Capital. The Munich-based biotech leverages its technology platform, based on vegan silk proteins, to create 100% fully biodegradable and microplastic-free silk materials that will contribute to building a zero-waste society. They can be used in multiple applications, from powders, hydrogels, textile fibres, aerospace applications, and coatings for the medical, automotive, and textile industries.  Expanding commercial operations “We are delighted to have closed this successful financing round which validates our technology and underpins our ongoing development as we …

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Evoco plant based materials

© Evoco

Materials

EVOCO, Partner to Vans & Timberland, Raises CAD $12M for Plant-Based Materials

Canadian plant-based materials producer EVOCO has secured CAD $12 million in a Series B funding round led by Circular Innovation Fund. EVOCO aims to develop high-performance, low-impact materials intended to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. The company’s flagship product is a patented foam called FATES, which is 80% plant-based. Existing investor The Stuart Group and new investor Export Development Canada participated in the round. The material aims to replace conventional PU foam, which produces significant emissions, can take hundreds of years to biodegrade, and is difficult to recycle. The technology is said to reduce carbon emissions by up to 70%. While FATES can be adapted to multiple applications, EVOCO is initially focusing on footwear, partnering with brands such as Vans, Keen, and Timberland. The foam …

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Business Wire

OrthoLite® Announces Exclusive Partnership with Novamont to Create the First Circular Foam Material Solution in Footwear

AMHERST, Mass. & NOVARA, Italy–(BUSINESS WIRE)–OrthoLite®, the global leader of sustainable, performance and comfort insoles and footwear materials solutions, and Novamont, the international leader in the development, production and eco-design of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics and biochemicals, announce an exclusive partnership in the creation of OrthoLite Cirql™, the world’s first circular foam material solution for footwear. OrthoLite Cirql foam is a patented footwear materials solution combining OrthoLite’s 26 years of expertise and innovation in foaming polymers and Novamont’s world-leading bio-based, compostable and recyclable polymer to provide the first technology capable of greatly reducing the high impact of the manufacturing process with multiple end-of-life disposal options. According to a new Life Cycle Assessment carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a typical pair of …

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Really Clever biomaterials

© Really Clever

Materials

$475M Invested in Next-Gen Materials in 2022, Leather Alternatives Dominating Sector

The Material Innovation Initiative has published its third State of the Industry Report for the next-gen materials sector. The report notes that $3 billion has been invested into next-gen materials since 2013, with $457 million raised in 2022 alone. This figure was lower than the “unprecedented” spike to $1.135 billion in 2021, with the fall blamed on a challenging funding environment caused by the global economic downturn. However, more funding was raised in 2022 than in any year prior to 2021. Leather alternatives still dominate the sector, with 64 companies working in this area compared to 15 for silk, ten for wool, and nine for fur. Seven companies are working on alternatives to down, and one on exotic skins. Currently, 52% of the materials used …

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