Fashion, Design & Beauty

Bucha Bio Develops Infinitely Renewable Vegan Leather

Vegan leather is often criticised for its reliance on fossil-fuel derived plastics. But US biotech company Bucha Bio has found a solution — bacterial nanocellulouse.

Bucha Bio’s leather alternative is made from biobased components that can be recycled and reused. The company eventually aims to create a fully plastic-free and biodegradable material with the same properties as animal leather. The leather can also be customised to have a range of colours and textures.

Growing biomaterials at scale used to be a time-consuming process, but Bucha Bio is able to do it in just 22 days. Many companies have previously attempted to make textiles from bacterial nanocellulose, but Bucha says it is the first to do it successfully.

Frecustoms Bucha Bio
© Frecustoms

Now, the company has begun partnering with brands in various industries to help them develop animal-free versions of their products. Recently, it has collaborated with London-based custom designer Frecustoms to recreate two of the brand’s iconic sneaker designs.

The vegan leather industry is growing rapidly, projected to be worth $89.6 billion by 2025. This growth has recently prompted backlash from the conventional leather industry, which has claimed leather alternatives are unsustainable due to their use of plastics. But Bucha Bio is one of an increasing number of companies proving that vegan leather production doesn’t have to rely on fossil fuels.

“Our team of scientists and designers are incredibly devoted to this mission, and we’re proud to finally be able to release the first of many biomaterialbased applications,” said Zimri Hinshaw, Founder and CEO of Bucha Bio. “We’re collaborating closely with major brands and prototyping products from footwear to luxury automotive interiors.”

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