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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Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) has developed PLIANT, a 100% biobased material made from plants, not plastic, designed for outsoles.

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Natural Fiber Welding Introduces World’s First Plant-Based Cured Natural Rubber Outsoles

US Plant-based material company Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) has developed PLIANT, a 100% biobased material made from plants, not plastic, designed for outsoles. PLIANT is made with natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea brasiliensis tree, harvested from certified, responsibly managed forests combined with NFW’s patented plant-based curative process. This method is said to replace the function of petrochemical ingredients in footwear performance. As a result, PLIANT plastic-free outsoles are said to be the world’s first naturally cured performance rubber soles, paving the way for animal and fossil-fuel-free footwear.  In addition, PLIANT outsoles are mechanically recyclable, described as bioneutral (made only with natural raw materials), and free of toxic chemicals. Furthermore, the material is rapidly scalable, using standard compression molding in the manufacturing process, making it …

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Generation Food Rural Partners Acquires Edible Packaging Company DisSolves, Inc

Big Idea Ventures announces the acquisition of Pittsburgh-based edible packaging company DisSolves as a part of its Generation Food Rural Partners Fund portfolio (GFRP). DisSolves, Inc. uses patented technology to create biodegradable and edible components made from natural, vegan ingredients that are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and are used to produce films and packaging materials for various applications, including encapsulants, nutraceuticals, and pods. The company’s proprietary films allow for the packaging of premeasured, individual servings of powdered products in user-friendly pods, enabling food and beverage companies to create more convenient and sustainable products. The GFRP Fund, a part of Big Idea Ventures, focuses on investing in the best food technology and agrotech companies globally. It targets intellectual property with potential for broad commercialization, particularly …

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AMSilk and 21st.BIO join forces to scale silk protein materials production.

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AMSilk and 21st.BIO Forge Alliance to Scale Bioproduced Spider Silk Proteins “From Kilos to Tons”

German Biotech AMSilk GmbH announces a partnership with the Danish bioproduction leader 21st.BIO, to accelerate the production of advanced bioproduced spider silk proteins to meet the growing demand for sustainable material solutions. As part of the collaboration, 21st.BIO has developed precision-fermented microorganisms that can be used to produce silk proteins on an industrial scale. According to 21st.BIO, the new strain ensures the extracellular expression of silk proteins while enabling biomanufacturing at unprecedented productivity levels, supporting higher yield, greater efficiency, and reduced production costs.  Gudrun Vogtentanz, CSO at AMSilk, shares: “Through 21st.BIO, we now have access to more efficient production strains, which are a game changer in terms of the efficiency and sustainability of our feedstock. Moving production quantities from kilos to tons brings AMSilk’s technology to the next …

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

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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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BioFluff plant-based fur

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BioFluff Secures $2.5M in Seed Funding for Plant-Based Fur Alternatives

BioFluff, a biomaterials startup describing itself as the first fully plant-based fur alternative, has successfully closed its seed funding round, securing $2.5 million from leading venture capital firms, spearheaded by agrifood tech investor Astanor Ventures. Astanor Ventures has invested in over 45 agrifood companies globally, including plant-based businesses MicroHarvest, Wicked Kitchen, and Umiami. This funding marks a significant milestone for BioFluff, following a pre-seed round of $0.5 million in 2022, led by SOSV, PDS Limited & Joyance Partners. “We were impressed by the passion and determination of the founding team. Biofluff has a unique offering for the luxury industry, fashion, and textiles, which is in full alignment with the Astanor mission of a more regenerative economy,” stated Christina Ulardic, a partner at Astanor Ventures. BioFluff, …

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Wastea makes vegan leather from tea industry waste

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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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Algenesis produces a plastic-like material made from plants and algae that is biodegradable.

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Algenesis Secures $5M to Produce at Scale Biodegradable Plastic Made From Algae

San Diego-based Algenesis Corporation, the plant-based material science company behind the biodegradable shoe brand BLUEVIEW, announces it has raised $5 million in a seed funding round to expand production and commercialization of Soleic PU, a plastic biomaterial made from plants and algae. Additionally, with the new funds, the company will expand Soleic product lines into breathable and waterproof textiles and phone cases. Soleic PU is currently available in soft foam applications, such as midsoles and insoles for footwear. In previous partnerships with the surfing brands REEF and Artic Form, the company created innovative algae foam blank surfboards.  First Bight Ventures and Circulate Capital led the round, with MIH Capital, Diamond Sports Group, and RhinoShield supporting the biomaterials company. The investment follows a $5 million grant from the US Department …

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Mushroom packaging ©Ecovative

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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Xampla has launched a consumer brand, Morro, to commercialize its highly innovative, vegan, and eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.

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Xampla Launches Morro Brand for Vegan and Biodegradable Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

Xampla, a natural material company based in the UK, has launched a new brand, Morro, to commercialize its highly innovative, vegan, and eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics. The company, a University of Cambridge spin-off, has developed a technology that uses plant proteins or sustainable feedstocks to create a material that behaves like plastic, providing protection and extending the shelf-life of ingredients and products.  However, since Xampla’s natural material is not chemically modified, it “does things that plastic never could,” such as being soluble, edible, cookable, and completely biodegradable in any environment, including home compost, explains the company.  “Our technology is a world-first, capable of replacing the most polluting plastics at scale and delivering performance parity,” says Xampla. Switching away from single-use plastics Morro’s portfolio includes …

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Apple claimed to be discontinuing leather iPhone cases

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Apple Rumored to Be Discontinuing Leather iPhone Cases

Ahead of the unveiling of the iPhone 15, which is expected to take place at Apple’s much-anticipated Wanderlust event later today, multiple leakers have claimed that the tech giant is planning to discontinue its leather iPhone cases in favor of a more sustainable alternative. As reported by MacRumors, the company is expected to replace its leather cases and Apple Watch straps with accessories made from a premium next-generation material called FineWoven. According to a leaker known as Kosutami, the new cases will be available in ten colors — Black, Mulberry, Taupe, Evergreen, Pacific Blue, Wisteria, Antique White, Butter Yellow, Orange, and Pink. The rear of the cases is said to have a woven appearance, while the edges are rubber-wrapped. It is believed that the new …

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Plant Forged Physique vegan weightlifting belts

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Australia’s Plant Forged Physique Launches Vegan Weightlifting Belts

Plant Forged Physique, an Australian brand offering vegan fitness gear, supplements, and apparel, has launched a new line of vegan weightlifting belts. According to the company, ethical weightlifting belts were previously almost impossible to find. Made from synthetic vegan leather and microsuede, the new belts provide powerlifters, bodybuilders, and gym-goers with core support during intensive strength training. The material is reportedly easier to clean and maintain than leather, while also being less prone to moisture damage. The belts are available in five colours — Forest Camo, Khaki, Pink, Sky Blue, and Snow Leopard. “Achieving goals without compromise” As more athletes adopt a vegan lifestyle, companies are increasingly offering ethical alternatives to sports gear and apparel that may traditionally be made with animal-derived materials. For example, …

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Stella McCartney unveiled her iconic luxury handbags made with Mirum

Image credit: Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney Unveils Iconic Handbags Made with Animal and Plastic Free Leather MIRUM

During her Winter 2023 show, sustainable British designer Stella McCartney unveiled her iconic luxury handbags, Falabella and Frayme, crafted from MIRUM, a plastic and animal-free leather.  By introducing MIRUM, the Stella McCartney house is continuing to expand its offer of animal-friendly alternatives and promoting sustainability for the planet. According to Stella McCartney, FAO figures show that 1.4 billion animal skins were used in global leather production only in 2020, with tanning processes that use and produce toxic chemicals and gases. The future of fashion has arrived Developed by US materials company Natural Fiber Welding (NFW), MIRUM is a customizable material made with certified bio-based ingredients such as natural rubber, natural fibers, vegetable oils, and pigments, including biochar and oxide. It does not contain any plastics or require …

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UK materials startup Saltyco aims to replace the goosedown and synthetic fibers commonly used in jackets with BioPuff.

Saltyco and YOOX collaboration- Image credit: Saltyco IG

Saltyco Introduces Cruelty-Free Plant-Based Fibres for the Most Sustainable Puffer Jackets 

UK materials startup Saltyco aims to replace the goosedown and synthetic fibers commonly used in jackets with BioPuff, a new biodegradable and cruelty-free material. BioPuff is a plant-based fiber with a heat-storing structure that, like feathers, provides warmth, is water resistant, and is lightweight. It is made from reedmace, a plant that grows in marshes and peatlands, which Saltyco sources from a regenerative wetland agriculture project — the UK’s first paludiculture trial.  Based in Salford, northwest England and founded in 2020, Saltyco is a materials science company developing “planet-positive” textiles from plants farmed using regenerative agriculture. The company is actively working with farmers and conservation groups on dual purposed projects: to restore ecosystems and build a sustainable supply chain for the next generation of sustainable …

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Notpla and Mack will launch a laundry detergent with seaweed and plants biodegradable packaging

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Notpla and MACK Launch Biodegrable Seaweed Film in Laundry Detergent Sachets

Sustainable packaging startup Notpla and vegan detergent company MACK have partnered to introduce a biodegradable option for packaging detergents to help the cleaning industry move away from single-use plastics. MACK will launch its laundry detergent refills in sachets made with Notpla’s innovative seaweed and plant-derived biodegradable film. These novel packaging can substitute conventional PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol) and PVOH (Polyvinyl Alcohol Copolymer) plastics. This initiative marks the seaweed film’s first application in cleaning products and a “world-first” in the laundry detergent market. According to Notpla, its film is water-soluble — no more microplastic leakage — while ensuring high-quality performance and convenience. The product was subject to a long biological degradability assessment, passing industry standards. “Our partnership with Notpla aligns perfectly with our mission to provide customers with a …

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Kampala develops plant protein materials to replace single-use plastics

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Xampla: Edible & Biodegradable Plant Protein Packaging to Replace the Most Polluting Plastics 

UK University of Cambridge spin-off startup Xampla develops natural, vegan, edible films, sachets, microcapsules, and coatings to help companies transition from single-use plastic to biodegradable packaging. After 15 years of research, the company has developed a “world-class” technology that uses plant protein or sustainable feedstocks to create drop-in, high-performance plastic replacements. Xampla claims its plant packaging provides protection and extends the shelf-life of ingredients and products.   Since the process does not involve chemical modification, the company’s materials can biodegrade entirely without interfering with recycling waste streams and are compatible with home or industrial compost. “Our technology is a world-first, capable of replacing the most polluting plastics at scale and delivering performance parity. At the end of their life, our materials can even be ‘bio-assimilated’ as food for microorganisms in …

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A chair upholstered with vegan leather Piñatex

© Tamasine Osher

PETA UK 2023 Vegan Homeware Awards Winners Revealed

PETA UK has announced the winners of its 2023 Vegan Homeware Awards. This annual initiative recognizes brands and designers making cruelty-free products to meet the growing demand for sustainable, compassionate home decor.  Avoiding leather, feathers, wool, and silk, the winners of the seventh edition of the awards propose chairs upholstered with pineapple leather, coconut wax candles, luxurious silk-free sheets, and even a plant milk maker to avoid dairy and artificial ingredients.  BEST STATEMENT PIECE Tamasine Osher — Purton chair in Piñatex Designer Tamasine Osher has created a chair with a steel, brass, or bronze frame with upholstery available in Piñatex or other materials called the Purton. This planet-friendly chair proves that furniture can be sleek and sophisticated without harming animals, says PETA. BEST WOOL-FREE THROW Piglet in Bed —  Blue Café au Lait …

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GALY to launch cultivated cotton

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Cultivated Cotton to Enter the Market for the First Time Ever

Cultivated cotton produced by US startup GALY is set to be used commercially for the first time, after the company signed a deal with Japan’s Suzuran Medical Inc. Suzuran will use the cotton — which is grown from cells in a bioreactor — to produce medical products such as gauze and absorbent cotton, along with sheets and cosmetic cotton. According to Forbes, thousands of tons of the cultivated fibers will be used each year. The partnership is worth $50 million and will run for ten years, beginning when GALY launches its first commercial facility; however, this likely won’t be for a few years. The agreement follows the success of a proof of concept completed by the two companies in 2021. GALY has also attracted significant …

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Modern Meadow banner

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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.

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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