© Balenciaga/Gozen


Balenciaga Partners With GOZEN to Use Animal-Free Material Made by Microorganisms

Following substantial controversy in the media since November of last year, French fashion house Balenciaga has joined forces with US biomaterials startup GOZEN to make garments from an animal-free and plastic-free material made by microorganisms. Called LUNAFORM, the material is formed when microorganisms make ultra-crystalline patterns with the aid of nutrients and natural agents. While plant-based leather alternatives are typically made from a mixture of materials, LUNAFORM comes from a single process, meaning it is stronger than most of its competitors — including animal leather. Balenciaga has used the material to design its Maxi Bathrobe Coat, part of the fashion house’s Summer 24 collection. The coat was recently exhibited at Paris Fashion Week and follows two years of collaboration between the companies, with GOZEN working …



Leather Alternatives

VitroLabs Cultivated Leather Raises $46M from Fashion Giant Kering & Leonardo DiCaprio 

Luxury giant Kering has backed VitroLabs, a San Francisco startup developing cell-cultivated leather. The French fashion company, whose brands include Gucci and Saint Laurent, has participated in a $46 million funding round to accelerate VitroLabs’ commercialization. The Series A funding was led by Agronomics, the UK cellular agriculture investment group headed by billionaire philanthropist Jim Mellon, and also received funding from environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio amongst others. VitroLabs is a Bay-Area-based biotech company leading the development of a new scientific process to grow what it claims is the world’s first cellular cultivated animal leather. The funds will be used to accelerate commercialization for the biotech startup, including the building and scaling of pilot production. Global luxury group Kering, with assets of over €27 billion, will continue …