Apple claimed to be discontinuing leather iPhone cases

© Apple

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 …


Plant Forged Physique vegan weightlifting belts

© Plant Forged Physique

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, …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Kampala develops plant protein materials to replace single-use plastics

Image credit: Xampla FB

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 …


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 …


GALY to launch cultivated cotton


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 …


Modern Meadow banner

© Modern Meadow

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 …


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 …


Sway Biomaterials Plastic Bag


Sway is Creating a Biodegradable, Seaweed-Based Solution to the World’s Plastic Crisis

In 2023, the world’s addiction to plastic became more urgent than ever, with the United Nations issuing a report that declared plastic pollution had become a global emergency. With 1 trillion pounds of plastic produced each year, and less than 10% of that recycled, finding a plastic-free solution to packaging has become one of the most critical environmental issues of our time.  Enter Sway, a US biomaterials startup using polymers found in seaweed to replace petroleum-based plastic while regenerating the Earth’s ecosystems.  Founded by Julia Marsh, Matt Mayes, and Leland Maschmeyer, Sway is not the first startup to utilize seaweed to replicate plastic, but their products are certainly some of the most impressive. According to Sway, it harnesses extracted polymers known as “phycocolloids” to produce …


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 …


AMSilk spider web

Image: AMSilk on Instagram

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 …


A shoe made with Modern Synthesis biomaterial

© Modern Synthesis

Modern Synthesis Unveils “One of the Biggest Advances in Textiles Since the Industrial Era”

Biomaterials company Modern Synthesis announces that, during a private event at its London headquarters, the company revealed a breakthrough class of microbial materials made with nanocellulose produced using first-of-a-kind biotechnology platform at its newly opened pilot facility. The company says its revolutionary material has a “unique potential” for creating customizable nonwoven textiles, from films to soft leathers. Furthermore, it is a naturally biodegradable alternative to petrochemical-derived materials to help the fashion industry overcome its sustainability crisis.  Biotech Platform  Founded by ex-Adidas designer Jen Keane and synthetic biologist Dr. Ben Reeve, Modern Synthesis is poised to craft the next generation of biomaterials to meet the fashion industry’s requirements for sustainability and performance. The biotech raised $4.1 million in a seed round last year to build its micro-factory in London. The biotech …




GOLDWIN and Spiber Present Fashion Collection Made of Brewed Protein Fiber

GOLDWIN INC. announces the launch of its Fall/Winter 2023 collection, featuring five brands simultaneously using the innovative structural protein material Brewed Protein fiber, developed in partnership with Spiber Corporation since 2015. “Through this joint development, we will rethink the relationship between nature and man and consider a completely new way of using materials” After many years of joint development, five brands — The North Face, Goldwin, nanamica, The North Face Purple Label, and Woolrich — have now launched products with Brewed Protein™ fiber, a new next-generation material from Japan, and will be available worldwide in the fall. With the start of mass production of Brewed Protein polymer at Spiber’s Thai plant in early 2022 – eight years after Goldwin and Spiber began their joint development …


Evoco plant based materials

© Evoco

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 …


Really Clever biomaterials

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$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 …


Book cover The Interior Design Method

Image courtesy Aline Dürr

New Online Course “The Vegan Interior Design Method” Launches Today

A new 6-week online course called The Vegan Interior Design Method, created by Aline Dürr, founder and creative director of Vegan Interior Design and writer of a 2020 book on the topic, sets out to provide anyone with the tools to create healthy, sustainable and cruelty-free interior designs. It is a creative approach to ending animal exploitation and the celebration of healthy and sustainable design evolution, says the founder. The Sydney, Australia-based expert, who also organised the Vegan Interior Design Week in 2021, says to vegconomist that the “concept of ‘The Vegan Interior Design Method’ goes beyond the usual interior design trends and courses. It explores the challenges surrounding climate and ecological change through the lenses of interior design, ethics, health and technology. Students, whether …


Banana leather

© Banofi

Upcycling Fruit Waste Brings Another Innovation: ‘Banofi’ Banana Leather

Banofi is a premium banana leather developed by Kolkata-based material innovation firm Atma Leather by upcycling banana crop waste and transforming it into fibres. India, said to be the world’s largest producer of bananas, generating four tons of waste for every ton of fruit, is also one of the world’s largest leather exporters. Jinali Mody, Atma’s founder, saw the value of using banana waste in the creation of a petroleum-free, premium plant-based material in order to offer an alternative to leather in a cowhide dominant market. Sustainability challenge Mody took her idea to Startup Yale in April 2022, succeeding in securing $25,000 from the Sustainable Venture Prize to launch her company, Atma (meaning “soul”), with the aim of tackling two sustainability fronts: crop waste and …


NFW animal and plastic free leather bag

© Natural Fiber Welding (NFW)

NFW and Lenzing Co-Create Biodegradeable, Plastic-Free Vegan Leather for Fashion Industry

Two bio-based and plant material experts, Lenzing Group and Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) have partnered to create an animal- and plastic-free leather alternative suitable for clothing, footwear, and accessories. The collaboration involves the use of Lenzing’s brand of cellulose-based and plastic-free fibers, called TENCEL, as a backing option in NFW’s plant-based MIRUM leather to make the final product reusable and biodegradable.  While most alternatives rely on polyurethane to bind and make leather backings, this partnership will allow fashion industry designers to work with a completely sustainable leather. Allbirds plant pacer Oihana Elizalde, VP of MIRUM at NFW, commented: “At NFW, we believe that plant matter is the only material that can scale to replace plastic. By adding fabrics made of TENCEL to MIRUM, we can …