© RapidBox

Indian Vegan Leather Shoe Producer Rapidbox Raises $4.5M in Series A Funding

Rapidbox, an India-based startup producing vegan leather sneakers, has raised $4.5 million in a Series A funding round led by SIG Venture Capital. Other participants included Tanglin Venture Partners, India Quotient, and Ananya Goenka (an investment banking analyst). The startup, which also produces other fashion and sportswear items, says it will use the funding to improve customer experience, expand its product range, and further build the brand. Rapidbox sneakers feature uppers made from either high-gauge vegan leather or polyester yarns. According to the company, the soles, footbeds, and laces are all made from high-quality animal-free materials, ensuring the shoes will be long-lasting. Rapidbox products are sold via the company’s app and on marketplaces such as FlipKart and Myntra. The brand aims to provide high-quality shoes …


© Krush

Krush Launches “World’s Most Sustainable” Vegan Toothpaste Tablets

UK startup Krush has set out to “revolutionise oral care” with its new sustainable, vegan-friendly toothpaste tablets. Called Whitening & Remineralising Toothpaste Tabs with Blue Spirulina, the tablets are plastic-free, waterless, and free of palm oil. Claiming to be the world’s most sustainable toothpaste brand, Krush says that up to 240 gallons of water could be saved per person per month if consumers switch to the tablets. Unlike many toothpaste brands, Krush’s tablets are vegan-friendly, since they have not been tested on animals and are free of animal ingredients. Many toothpastes contain glycerin, an ingredient sometimes derived from animal fat, along with animal-tested colours and preservatives. Since Krush tablets are waterless, they do not require any preservatives. The toothpaste tablets are sold in recyclable and …


peta campaign for vegan wool featuring a woman dressed with plants


PETA Offers $1M for Market-Ready Vegan Wool Alternative 

The animal rights group PETA launched a $1 million Vegan Wool Challenge Award this week to find the first individual, group, or company that creates a vegan wool material “visually, texturally, and functionally akin to or better than sheep’s wool.” The winning animal-free wool must be a biomaterial that is biodegradable or recyclable and has traditional wool’s advantages like maintaining body temperature, neutralising doors, and repelling moisture. Among other entry rules for the wool challenge, PETA requires the participants to demonstrate the innovative material’s commercial viability. Alternatives to animal-derived materials This vegan wool prize comes at a time when innovations in the animal-free leather category are thriving, with leather made from upcycled tamarind pods and cactus leather used to make shoes, gloves, and watches. Vegan silk is …


Tesla Plaid S in grey tune-up with vegan red leather seats

Courtesy of von Holzhausen

von Holzhausen’s Vegan Bamboo Leather Upgrades Tesla Interior

High-tech plant-based material company von Holzhausen and Unplugged Performance, a Tesla-specialist tuning shop, are partnering on a unique Tesla Plaid S tune-up that will showcase at the Petersen Automotive Museum in California.  Both companies work in Los Angeles, upgrading Tesla’s vehicles to improve their performance and features. von Holzhausen replaces the leather and plastic materials used for the car’s interiors with its negative carbon fabrics made from plants.  For this Tesla Plaid S tune-up, the seating upholstery and other interior elements will feature von Holzhausen’s Banbū Leather in “an exclusive rich red shade called Serrano, inspired by speed with a classic automotive appeal.”  Luxury without compromise  Crafted from bamboo, von Holzhausen’s animal and petroleum-free leather shifts the automotive industry’s favoritism for animal leather to guilt-free, sustainable luxury …


rc cork products, a bag and a wallet carried by a woman dressed in black

© RC Cork

Chile’s RC Cork: Eco-Sustainable Fashion Taking Care of The Planet

RC Cork is a Chilean startup producing 100% natural and ecological vegan cork leather to create fashion products such as bags, backpacks, wallets, shoes, and accessories. Carmen Gloria Rodriguez, RC Cork’s founder, looking to innovate in the fashion market with high-quality, environmentally friendly materials, found that natural cork fabric was the right choice to replace traditional leather. Cork oak tree sustainability Rodriguez explains that cork oak trees grow only in Mediterranean countries and can live up to 300 years. During their lifetime, expert cutters remove the bark without damaging the trees. Every nine years, the bark grows back, removing CO2 from the air. Portuguese cork forests – where the company’s raw material comes from – support one of the world’s highest levels of biodiversity, including …


Vegan Cactus Leather Shoes

©G.H. Bass

G.H. Bass Launches First Vegan Weejun Loafers with Desserto Cactus Leather

American footwear brand G.H. Bass, known for introducing the first penny loafers in 1936, announces it is releasing two vegan versions of its classic Weejun Loafer made from Desserto cactus leather.   “Cutting-edge” sustainability Launching for Fall/ Winter 2022, the new Cactus Leather Weejun Loafers feature alternative leather developed from nopal cactus leaves, and are available in Green, Burgundy and Black colorways. The Loafers include cactus leather soft liners and insoles, waxy threaded stitched seams and traditonal Weejuns lightweight outsoles.  The Cactus Leather Loafers are available on the G.H. Bass website and retail for $202. Attractive alt-leather Founded by Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, Desserto’s award-winning cactus leather quickly broke into sustainable fashion world as an attractive, toxin- and cruelty-free alternative to leather.  Following its …


© Overstock

Overstock Bans Cashmere Products, Receiving PETA Compassionate Business Award

Overstock.com, a US based retailer of furniture and home furnishings retailer, has been awarded PETA‘s Compassionate Business Award following its recent ban on products made from cashmere. The company previously banned products with exotic skins and other furs, including badger hair, mohair, angora, and alpaca. Working together with PETA, Overstock has already identified and removed from its website several products made of cashmere and says it is committed to putting measures in place to ensure such products are no longer offered on its e-commerce site by the end of this year. “Thanks to Overstock’s kind decision, fewer cashmere goats will be harmed for throw blankets,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is recognizing this conscientious company for being a leader in animal-free commerce …


Image: Phil America on Instagram

Phil America Partners With PETA for Animal-Friendly Streetwear Line

Vegan artist, designer, and influencer Phil America has joined forces with PETA for a new streetwear capsule collection called “People Are Animals”. The collection features black shirts with designs inspired by PETA’s logo, along with green hoodies emblazoned with colourful animal-inspired designs. It will be modelled by actor and singer Stéphanie Gérard and other influencers. The launch is accompanied by a video comparing human and animal eyes, showing the similarities between them. A new custom Instagram filter has also been introduced, making the colours and designs of the collection change to emphasise the importance of seeing things from different perspectives. PETA and vegan fashion PETA has a track record of promoting and supporting cruelty-free fashion, helping to get fur banned from this year’s Copenhagen Fashion …


Allbirds Vegan Sneaker


Allbirds Launches First 100% Vegan Sneakers Made from Upcycled Rice and Citrus Peels

Footwear brand Allbirds has announced the launch of the Plant Pacer, its first 100% vegan sneaker. While Allbirds is traditionally known for its natural line of shoes incorporating sheep’s wool, the Plant Pacer makes use of sustainable, plastic and petroleum-free plant leather.  88% less carbon The Plant Pacer offers the same signature comfort Allbirds is famous for, and is constructed from innovative materials like rubber, plant oils, upcycled rice hulls and even citrus peels.  The shoe’s eco-friendly ingredients mean it produces 88% less carbon than conventional animal leather, and 75% less than standard synthetic pleather. The Plant Pacer, which retails for about $135, also features lightweight eucalyptus-based TENCEL™Lyocell blend lining. Allbirds is offering a canvas version of the Plant Pacer constructed with organic cotton and …


mylo-mushroom-leather-Bolt Threads

©Bolt Threads

Bolt Threads and Ginkgo Bioworks Join Forces to Boost Production of Mylo Mushroom Leather

Materials solutions company Bolt Threads announces a new multi-project collaboration with biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks to increase the efficiency and performance of Bolt’s portfolio, and to develop novel biomaterial proteins. The companies’ first project will focus on optimizing production of Bolt’s Mylo™ leather alternative. Made from mycelium, the underground root structures of mushrooms, Mylo is an animal-free and sustainable “unleather: that does not require livestock or petroleum inputs. During Bolt’s production process, the mycelium is grown in a foamy layer that can be harvested, dyed and transformed into fully customizable sheets. Mylo can then be used to make a wide range of products such as handbags, footwear, wallets, and phone cases. Mylo is already been utilized in handbags and accessories by top fashion houses such …


LOCI Red Sneakers


LØCI Raises £4M From Leonardo DiCaprio and More for Ocean Plastic Sneakers

British sneaker brand LØCI announces it has raised a £4 million seed round from high-profile investors including actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. According to the fashion label, the investment from DiCaprio will help amplify its mission of making sustainable fashion more accessible and affordable.  Founded in April 2021, LØCI (pronounced “low-key”) produces vegan, biodegradable shoes that are crafted from certified recycled ocean plastic. Upon its launch, the brand achieved seven figures in sales in its first year, and has since expanded into 26 global markets, partnering with top retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.  LØCI counts Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Olivia Wilde and Eva Longoria among its celebrity fans, which has helped propel the 15-month-old brand to global fame and popularity. LØCI says …



© Fenics

Fenics: Sustainable Vegan Sneakers Inspired by the Eighties

French company Fenics produces eighties-inspired vegan sneakers with half the carbon footprint of other brands on the market. The shoes also take half the amount of water and energy to produce compared to conventional sneakers. This is largely due to the sustainable materials used in their construction. The outer part of the shoes is made from apple fibres, while the inner lining is cotton and the insole is recycled polyurethane. The outsole contains a combination of natural and synthetic rubber. The shoes are made in an artisan workshop in Spain, which is powered by renewable energy. When worn out, they can be returned to Fenics and partially recycled in exchange for a €20 credit. To keep their carbon footprint low, the shoes are only available …


vegan leather cars in a porsche

© Porsche

Rising Trend Towards Vegan Friendly Cars

“There is not a completely vegan car on the market,” the Vegan Society says in its Vegan Vehicles: The Future of Cars Report 2022. However, car manufacturers have been offering non-leather interiors for a while, with many pledging to use alternative materials in their new and existing models in coming years.  Animal leather has traditionally been the standard option for premium car seats and interiors, but current luxury trends do not involve the slaughter of animals. Demand for alternative materials is making the automobile industry incorporate more vegan options for its models, adding to the rise in the global synthetic leather market which is on track to reach $67.2 billion by 2030, according to Straits Research. Growing trend towards animal-free interiors In 2020, PETA published its …


Alife & Kickin male female coats

©Alife & Kickin

This Winter Streetwear Collection Features Vegan Puffa Coats With Faux Down

German streetwear label Alife & Kickin announces its autumn/winter collection featuring vegan puffa coats with fake down and recycled materials, with a focus on “100% vegan fashion – from the label to the zipper.”   According to the brand, the vegan replacement for animal down is imitated from polyester and is officially called Pearl Padding. Animal-derived materials such as wool, leather, fur and silk are also replaced by sustainable, certified raw materials such as organic cotton, Lyocell and recycled nylon and polyester.   Speaking to vegconomist today, Head of Sales Vito Catalano, explains: “Sustainability is what makes the small but huge difference. Because in a world where commerce and price are above all else, we must not forget sustainability. We consistently implement this credo in …


cruelty-free material black handbag

© Doshi

California: Doshi Presents New Accessories Using Luxury Vegan Leathers

Doshi, an eco-friendly, luxury vegan brand of work, leisure, and travel accessories, reveals a new line of products made with innovative cruelty-free materials. Handbags, backpacks, wallets, money clips, belts, and cardholders made with microfibre vegan leather, kraft paper, and Piñatex are among the company’s newly presented creations. Based in California and founded by Paras Doshi, the company designs and creates 100% vegan alternatives for customers with ethical, religious, or environmental concerns. “We would love to share our mission and message with the world. And let more people understand that they do not have to give up on quality or style when switching to ethical and sustainable accessories,” says Doshi. Durable, cruelty-free accessories Doshi is constantly researching new durable, cruelty-free materials with a luxurious appeal that …