Sokito drops kangaroo leather

© Sokito

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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mylo Bolt Threads

©Bolt Threads

Report: Could Mycelium Leather Transform the Leather Market?

IDTechEx analyses the potential of mycelium as an innovative leather alternative in a new report. According to the report, recent developments in the industry mark the beginning of major production growth, though companies in the industry also face some technological challenges that need to be overcome in order to achieve sustainable market growth. Key players in the production of mycelium leather include MycoWorks, California, producer of materials including Reishi Bolt Threads, California, producer of materials including Mylo Ecovative, New York, operates several platforms including a specialized soft goods division called Forager which creates materials from its AirMycelium™ technology SQIM, Italy, operates MOGU, a dedicated interior design and architecture brand offering a range of wall, floor, and acoustic treatment products, and EPHEA, which targets the luxury fashion …

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Trekking by Biophilica samples

Treekind © Biophilica

Biophilica and Sappi North America Unveil Treekind: A Sustainable “Leaf Leather” with Authentic Feel

The UK materials company Biophilica and Sappi North America, a producer and supplier of paper, packaging products, and pulp, have joined forces to introduce a new version of the leather alternative made from leaves, Treekind, with a 100% plastic-free coating.  Sappi North America collaborated with Biophilica for two years to successfully apply a technology called textured release paper to Treekind to replace the plastic coating widely used in vegan leather. This product provides Treekind with a high-fidelity, 3D leather grain texture with an authentic, non-plastic-like feel, explains Biophilica.  Mark Hittie, Director of Release Business Strategy at Sappi North America, commented: “Inclusion of plastic-containing coatings has dominated the vegan leather industry, limiting consumers with few fully sustainable choices and a material that often has a plastic-like touch inferior …

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BMW interior made with vegan leather

© BMW Group

BMW Offers 100% Animal-Free Interior with Vegan Leather ‘Veganza’ in New 5 Series Touring

BMW is offering a completely animal-free interior option for the 5 Series Touring. According to the company, the interior design of the new vehicle sets new standards in terms of animal welfare and sustainability. The seat surfaces are made from the innovative material “Veganza” and will optionally be available with decorative perforation. Veganza is a vegan leather alternative that is said to offer an improved feel and optimized climate properties. The BMW Group announced in autumn 2023 that it would offer BMW and MINI vehicles with completely vegan interiors and would produce even more sustainable and 100% animal-free vehicles in the future. In cooperation with various startups, BMW is researching and developing innovative materials with leather-like properties that can be used, among other things, for …

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Tina Funder. © ALT.Leather

Australia’s ALT.Leather Closes Oversubscribed $1.1M Round for Biodegradable Leather Alternative

Female-led Australian startup ALT.Leather has raised $1.1 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round after developing a plastic-free, bio-based leather alternative. Investors in the round included Startmate, The Austin Group, Wollemi Capital Group, The Alice Anderson Fund, and various angel investors. ALT.Leather will use the funding for further research and the production of samples for interested brands; the startup is also filing for a patent. ALT.Leather’s material is made from agricultural waste and regeneratively grown plants, with no animal products or petroleum-derived plastics. It is suitable for fashion, furniture, the automotive industry, and more. The leather alternative is “designed for end-of-life”, and is being tested to ensure it can be recycled or biodegrade without harming the environment. Bio-based vegan leather ALT.Leather was founded by Tina …

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Stella McCartney headshot

Image credit: Stella McCartney Instagram

Stella McCartney Exposed Unfair Tax on Vegan Leather Bags at COP28

Celebrity British designer Stella McCartney launched a sustainable innovation exhibit during COP28 in Dubai to advocate for policy and regulatory change to decarbonise the fashion industry through alternative and innovative materials for leathers, furs, wool, feathers, and fills. According to Stella McCartney, the fashion industry is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Meanwhile, its carbon footprint is expected to increase, driven by the growing population and consumption trends.  Speaking to CNN (at COP28), the fashion designer said that the current policies do not penalize environmentally and socially harmful practices, including deforestation, animal agriculture, and toxic leather tanning, which pose risks to humans and the planet. She explained that her vegan leather bags are “penalised” with a 30% tax in the USA, pointing out that adding …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 & …

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

© GOZEN

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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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 …

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

© sucharat-stock.adobe.com

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Amschela

© 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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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