Stella McCartney and Veuve Clicquot partner to recycle grape waste and make luxury vegan leather.

© VEGEA/Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney Partners with Champagne House Veuve Clicquot to Turn Grape Waste Into Luxurious Vegan Leather 

British designer Stella McCartney and the famous champagne house Veuve Clicquot have partnered to recycle grape waste to make a luxurious vegan leather with sustainability credentials. The two brands are subsidiaries of LVMH (Louis Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy), the world’s leading luxury group, which reportedly gets one-third of its revenues from fashion and leather goods. In April 2023, LVMH was in news headlines, named as the first European company to reach a $500bn valuation. Stella McCartney states that with this initiative, both companies are pursuing sustainable, circular economy, and regenerative practices under the umbrella and luxury standards of LVMH. The environmental impact of animal leather is immense, with animal agriculture contributing to an estimated 11-17% of the world’s GHG emissions, argues the fashion brand. VEGEA’s grape skin The Italian …


Wastea makes vegan leather from tea industry waste

© Wastea

Turkish Company Wastea Turns Tea Industry Waste Into Vegan Leather

Wastea is a Turkish company working to transform dry tea industry waste into an animal-free leather alternative. Tea waste has few applications, as its caffeine content is too high to be used in animal feed or the food industry. It is also unsuitable for bio-energy generation, meaning it is usually sent to landfill or incinerated. Wastea has developed a processing method to turn the waste — which includes stems, leaves, and buds — into a sustainable leather alternative that is up to 95% bio-based. The material is available in a variety of colors and can be used in the fashion, automotive, and homeware industries, among others. Turkey is the world’s fourth-largest tea producer, meaning that tea waste is a local and almost limitless resource. Furthermore, …


A car interior by Sage Automotive Interiors

© Sage Automotive Interiors

NFW and Sage Automotive Interiors Partner to Revolutionize Cars with Biodegradable Plant-Based Leather

Plant-based material company Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) and automotive interior solutions supplier Sage Automotive Interiors (Sage) have partnered to develop animal and plastic-free materials for car interiors. The strategic partnership aims to manufacture NFW’s plant-based leather MIRUM at scale, offering the automotive industry a recyclable and biodegradable alternative while supporting a circular economy. Sage, an affiliate of the Japanese company Asahi Kasei, is among the leading global suppliers of seat materials, door panel surfaces, and automobile headliners. With a strong presence in the US, China, and Europe, Sage has been expanding its lineup of growth-potential materials, including leather alternatives. Dirk Pieper, chairman of the Sage Automotive Interiors board of directors, commented: “By jointly introducing MIRUM®, a plastic-free, plant-based, and fully circular leather alternative, Asahi Kasei, Sage & …


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


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 …


Carolin Przibylla, innovation analyst at Fashion for Good and brothers Gómez Ortigoza

Carolin Przibylla, innovation analyst at Fashion for Good and brothers Gómez Ortigoza © Polybion

Polybion and Fashion for Good Join Forces to Drive Circular Fashion with Bacterial Leather

Spanish biomaterial company Polybion has announced that the global platform for circular fashion, Fashion for Good, has become its official partner and investor.  The news comes after Polybion participated in the Fashion for Good 2023 Innovation Programme, an initiative that supports innovators and finds relevant industry partners to develop and launch products. Polybion pioneers microbial fermentation and food waste upcycling to grow the next generation of vegan materials. The company’s first development, Celium, is a premium alternative to animal leather and petroleum-derived synthetics.  Fashion for Good is building a global coalition of brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organizations, innovators, and funders to address the environmental impact of the fashion industry, from sourcing raw materials to retail.  “As our official partner and investor, their credibility and impact are unparalleled, and together, we are shaping …


Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms that are being used to create self-healing vegan leather


UK Researchers Develop Self-Healing Leather Using a Medicinal Mushroom from Asia

Researchers in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, have developed a self-healing vegan leather using the mycelium of Ganoderma lucidum, a medicinal mushroom from Asia. According to the researchers, the leather has dormant fungal spores that can regrow and repair damaged areas such as scratches and holes. Mycelium, the living vegetative part of filamentous fungi, has functional properties such as regrowth, sensing, and self-healing. This rootlike structure is already used to create animal-free leather for wallets, bags, and hats. However, the production process of these products hampers the growth of the fungus. The team led by Elise Elsacker at the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment decided to investigate the conditions under which mycelium can retain its regrowth ability and demonstrate its self-repairing properties even after …


MycoWorks will open a production facility for luxury animal-free leather

© polrebaque

MycoWorks Unveils World’s First Commercial Mycelium Facility for Luxury Animal-Free Leather

Biomaterials innovator MycoWorks announces it will open the world’s-first commercial-scale mycelium production plant to produce luxury animal-free leather on the 20th of September, 2023. Located in South Carolina, the 136,000-square-foot facility, employing over 350 people, will use MycoWorks patented Fine Mycelium technology to produce “millions of square feet” of Reishi  — a luxury leather alternative with the strength, durability, and hand feel of the finest animal leather but with a lower environmental impact. “Fine Mycelium platform is an unprecedented advancement in materials. Opening the doors on the first commercial-scale factory has MycoWorks poised to answer the luxury industry’s desire to craft objects with natural alternatives to leather,” says Kiersten Stead, MP at DCVC Bio and board member at MycoWorks.  Scalable manufacturing Since Reishi’s introduction, the company has partnered with major …


Grounded People Shoes

©Grounded People

Canada’s Grounded People Launches Vegan Suede and Leather Shoes, Produced in “World’s Only” 100% Vegan Factory

Grounded People Apparel Inc. of Vancouver, Canada (CSE: SHOE), today announces the launch of its first-ever cruelty-free leather and suede shoes, which are produced in what the brand claims is the world’s only 100% vegan factory, located in Brazil. The Oli is a grey cruelty-free suede shoe while the Mika features vegan white leather and an outsole made from all-natural gum. Grounded People says that its iconic Lee shoe, made from 100% recycled cotton and rubber from rubber trees, is now available again due to popular demand. Also noteworthy is its collection launched in the US and Canada this March, composed of footwear crafted from recycled materials such as used car tires and volcanized natural rubber. Grounded People’s products are 100% PeTA-approved vegan and are manufactured …


Biodegradable Vegan Leather Jacket

©UNCAGED Innovations

UNCAGED Innovations Secures $2M in Pre-Seed Funding to Create Plastic-Free, Luxury Vegan Leather

UNCAGED Innovations, a US biomaterials startup focused on leather alternatives, announced it has raised $2M in pre-seed funding from investors, including InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). The funding will be used to launch the company’s “next generation high-performance” vegan leather. Founded in 2020, UNCAGED Innovations is working to offer a sustainable alternative to leather for the consumer goods and automotive industry. Using patent-pending technology, the startup is creating a platform of biomimetic, plastic-free substitutes to replace animal hides that don’t require tanning chemicals. Compared to traditional leather, UNCAGED says its materials can be produced within hours, while animal-based leather can take up to several years.  To support the development of its technology, UNCAGED Innovations has also received a coveted grant …


Arda Biomaterials

© Arda Biomaterials

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 …



© Amschela

Amschela Launches Crowdfunder for Multipurpose Bag Made From MIRUM Alt Leather

Amschela, a sustainable luxury handbag brand based in the UK, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its new AIRIUM bag. AIRIUM is made from MIRUM, a plastic-free vegan leather alternative produced by Natural Fiber Welding. The multipurpose “6 in 1” bag can be worn six different ways — from handheld to a clutch or a crossbody. The bag will be manufactured by Veshin Factory in China, which produces sustainable accessories made from vegan materials. The facility also has a commitment to treating its workers ethically, in an industry notorious for its human rights abuses. Vegan brand Amschela started out by producing conventional leather accessories then transitioned to a vegan brand during the pandemic after learning about the environmental impact of the leather industry. The company …


von Holzhausen introduces Replant Leather, a sustainable animal-free material made from agricultural waste

Image courtesy of von Holzhausen

Replant: Carbon Negative Premium Alt Leather from Agricultural Waste

Sustainable materials brand von Holzhausen introduces Replant Leather, a plastic and animal-free material made from repurposed agricultural fibers — a routinely burned waste that releases CO2 and toxins into the soil.  von Holzhausen claims that Replant Leather comprises 60% of these waste fibers. The agricultural waste fibers used start with a negative carbon footprint, use zero gases or petrochemicals in the process, and are traceable to the source.  “Replant is an ultra-premium, high-performance material that revolutionizes the way we think about agricultural waste,” says von Holzhausen. A unique and highly tactile feel Besides its sustainability claims, Replant Leather offers an ultra-premium, high-performance alternative to leather. “Boasting a unique and highly tactile feel” has multiple applications for the fashion, furniture, and sports industries. According to von Holzhausen, Replant’s smooth material …


Desserto Agave, a limited edition alt leather made from agave fibers

Image credit: Desserto

Desserto Unveils ‘Desserto Agave’, Upcycling Tequila Waste Into Sustainable Leather

Cactus-based biomaterials company, Desserto, has revealed Desserto Agave, a limited edition alt leather made from agave fibers, a waste product of Mexico’s tequila industry.  Agave, a sweet succulent plant, matures in the field for six to seven years before it is harvested and distilled into the famous liquor. In the process, agave fibers result in a waste by-product that can be collected and transformed into sustainable materials. “Through this project, the agave-tequila production chain has the opportunity to join the fashion industry in a sustainable and responsible way,” says Desserto in the announcement. Sustainability principles According to Adriano Di Marti, the company behind the Desserto brand, involving the tequila chain in the biomaterial industry generates economic benefits and creates opportunities for economic growth while respecting the …


shoe made from tomato leather

© Bioleather

India’s Bioleather Develops Biodegradable Alt Leather Made From Tomato Plant Waste

Bioleather is an Indian alt leather producer that has developed tomato composite, a fully biodegradable material made by extracting cellulose fibers from tomato plant waste. Described as an “exotic material with unique texture, color, and characteristics”, the leather alternative is made from two separate layers. This eliminates the need for a layer of polyurethane, which is used in most plant-based alt leathers to improve durability. The natural characteristics of the tomato composite are said to protect it from deformation, and it is also described as lightweight, easy to clean, and resistant to water and abrasions. In 2021, the material won Best Innovation in Textile at the PETA Vegan Fashion Awards. Bioleather now offers a selection of shoes and bags made from the tomato leather, and …


Banana leather handbags

© Rashki

Rashki Launches “India’s First” Banana Leather Handbags

Sustainable fashion brand Rashki has partnered with Atma Leather to launch what it claims are India’s first banana leather handbags. India is said to be the world’s largest banana producer, and four tons of waste are generated for every ton of fruit. Atma saw an opportunity to make use of this resource by upcycling it into fibers that can be used to make a petroleum-free leather alternative. Following an extensive R&D process, Banofi leather was born, consisting of 60% banana fibers, 20% natural additives, and 20% non-petroleum synthetic additives. The material uses 85% less water and produces 85% less carbon dioxide than animal leather. Rashki has launched a range of bags made with Banofi, including the Snow black and white crossbody bag, Unica Eco handbag …


Exotic snake skin

© dankee -

ProjectEx Opens $1M Pre-Seed Round to Revolutionize Luxury Market With Cultivated Exotic Leather

ProjectEx, a Singapore-based cultivated leather startup, has announced a $1 million pre-seed fundraising round to revolutionize the luxury market with sustainable and cruelty-free exotic cultivated leather.  ProjectEx was launched by two industry experts, biomedical engineer Dr. Viknish Krishnan-Kutty, CEO of Cellivate Technologies, and Adrian Fürstenburg, an award-winning South African Designer.  Founded in 2019 as a spin-off from the National University of Singapore, Cellivate Technologies is a deep-tech startup with a proprietary platform technology developing FBS-free media for cultivated meat companies. ProjectEx will combine its biotechnology and synthetic biology expertise to grow its alternative skin.  An urgent need “As a designer who works with leather, I know firsthand the impact that the industry has on the environment and animal welfare,” said Adrian Fürstenburg. “Sustainability is not …



PUMA to Phase Out Kangaroo Leather in Favour of Vegan Alternative

German sportswear brand PUMA has redesigned its KING football boot, replacing kangaroo leather with a vegan alternative. Called K-BETTER™, the new material consists mostly of nylon microfibre (of which at least 20% is recycled) and is said to outperform kangaroo leather in terms of touch, comfort, and durability. PUMA is so pleased with the material’s performance that it plans to phase out kangaroo leather boots altogether by the end of the year. The updated KING features a lightweight outsole with an external heel counter, a stability spine, and conical studs. Additionally, it has a lightweight removable sock liner with NanoGrip technology. A custom fit is available for women. Kangaroo-free boots PUMA launched its first vegan football boot — the King Plantinum 21 Vegan — about …


Vegan Plastic-Free Topcoats

©von Holzhausen

Von Holzhausen Launches First 100% Plant-Based Topcoat to Replace Plastic Finishes in Alt-Leather

Sustainable materials brand von Holzhausen announces the introduction of Liquidplant™, a 100% plant-based and plastic-free topcoat to replace petroleum-based polyurethane. Under development for 2.5 years, LiquidPlant is described as a first-of-its-kind innovation that can replace plastic topcoats in a wide range of materials, including traditional and synthetic leather, paper, wood, plastic and fabric. A global problem According to the brand, both the animal and synthetic leather industries rely on plastic topcoats for a durable and long-lasting finish. However, petroleum-based topcoats – which represent a $1 trillion global industry – pollute landfills, take centuries to break down and release harmful microplastics into the environment.  Made from corn sugar, castor oil and flaxseed oil, LiquidPlant is said to offer a fully plant-based, durable topcoat technology. The product …


© Anita Dongre

India’s Anita Dongre Launches Accessories Made With Mirum Vegan Leather

After years of searching for a sustainable alternative to leather, Indian fashion house Anita Dongre has unveiled a line of accessories made with the plastic-free vegan material Mirum. The new line includes four handbags — the Swan Mini Grab Bag, Birds Of A Feather Crossbody Bag, Nocturnal Glass Beaded Bag, and Champagne Gold Glass Beaded Bag. The latter two are made with recycled beads. The collection also features two more accessories, the Birds of a Feather Belt and the Haathi Belt. Anita Dongre, who is behind the brand alongside her son Yash, said the designs were inspired by her love for nature and animals. The fashion house will be donating 5% of proceeds from the new line to the India Animal Fund. “A dream come …


Ford Mustang Mach-E


Top 25 Vegan-Friendly Car Manufacturers in 2023

Car dealership Dick Lovett recently compiled an updated review, correct of January 2023, demonstrating which global car manufacturers currently offer the highest number of vegan-friendly cars, analysing data from PETA and car manufacturers worldwide. Aside from the manufacturers mentioned in this particular study, vegconomist has also recently reported on notable developments coming from Liux for its electric vehicle; Ultrafabrics’ new partnership with India’s Tata Motors; and last September’s news that all BMW and MINI cars will have fully vegan interiors from 2023. Additionally, it was reported last May by The Vegan Society that 75% of UK consumers want to see the removal of animal products from vehicles and that 70% are actively looking at purchasing an animal-free vehicle.  The Dick Lovett study is based on …