Plant-based leather: Saving nature, saving grace

What is plant-based leather?

In simple words, Plant-based Leather is leather-like material yielded in a way where no animals are exploited or slaughtered. It’s a leather-like material that isn’t made from the skin of animals plus it’s holding wholly distinct ethical values from synthetic leather. Plant-based leather is made from plant materials such as mushrooms, fungi, pineapple, cactus, Apple, mangoes and many other natural substances. How do we differentiate faux leather from plant-based? Well, faux leather is another plastic abuse in the name of cruelty-free choices. Zara, H&M and many fast fashion brands give us cheaper alternatives than animal leather by filling up racks on either polyurethane ( PU leather) or occasionally polyvinyl chloride (PVC leather) synthetic leather. PU as in polyurethane leather is made by coating one side of the fabric with polyurethane while PVC as in Polyvinyl Chloride is mixed with stabilizers, plasticizers, and lubricants sent through various heating processes, creating chemical changes to set the paste onto the fabric.

Type of plant-based leather
Currently, various researchers are working to generate new plant-based materials parallel to leather, but far more ecologically cruelty-free. Plant-based leather drawn from agricultural waste, uses nominal water and chemicals, decreasing carbon emissions as compared to pure synthetics. Let’s have a glimpse at rare plant-based leather creations which might just end up transforming the game for consumers who endorse cruelty-free products.

Pineapple leather

The London-based startup Ananas Anam adopted and enhanced an ancient Filipino processing technique to obtain Pinatex, a resourceful and natural nonwoven material, created from pineapple leaf fibres. This material is equivalent to synthetic leather, differing in the manufacturing methods: the “fake” leather mandates the use of polluting substances during production. While Piñatex is falsified with an environment-friendly process.

Lino leather

The two versions are formulated of a mix of plant-based oils and resins, which can be tinted to develop different colour finishes. Designer Don Yaw Kwaning created these materials to simulate the texture of leather for the interior and furniture design. It’s resistant and long-lasting by mixing linseed oil with jute and pressing a fibre net between two coatings of the material, the result is a flexible and self-supporting leather-looking outcome.


Apple leather

This brand-new invention of leather made out of Apple waste is called Apple Ten Lork by Frumat. Born in the north of Italy, in a region known for the production of apples, the South Tyrol-based company Frumat delivered a process of recycling the waste of their regional agroindustry’s main product. Fruit gives birth to the most needed solution of this era by responding to two requirements, one is local apple-waste issues and the second is the increasing demand for ecological alternatives to leather. The result is a cellulose-based material featuring an assortment of textures, thicknesses and embossing options.

Cactus leather

Mexican masterminds Adrian Lopez, Velarde and Marte Cazarez both worked on this to create an alternative to animal leather. They formulated vegan leather made with nopal (a cactus), which they successfully showcased in the last edition of the International Leather Fair Lineapelle 2019, which took place in Milan, Italy. An expert at the fair said that our cactus leather is most suitable for use in the luxury segment thanks to its flexibility, softness, touch and colour.


Mylo mushroom leather

Mylo is a biodegradable, non-toxic, and unique quality leather. The material’s core element is mycelium and the thread structure that mushrooms and other fungi use to cultivate, much like the roots of the tree. These mycelium cells are fed with sawdust and other organic material and placed on square growing mats. In humidity and temperature-controlled environments, they are qualified to grow into a foamy layer. Through further processing, this mycelium is spun into a sheet of material that resembles cork but it is much thinner and more flexible. It’s tanned and dyed by the same tanneries that work with animal leather.

Plant-based leathers are high-quality leather alternatives at a comparable price to leather. After several brands and even entire fashion weeks went fur-free in recent years, plant-based leather will be the next step. As an animal byproduct, it doesn’t just emit greenhouse gases and consumes finite natural resources. It’s far from environmental pollution through the tanning and dying process.

“Fur-free fashion week folks me with hope,” says Stella McCartney.

Source link

Tags: No tags

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *