With the rising awareness about animal cruelty, people of this day and age are starting to question the source of the goods and products they consume. Correspondingly, there is more spotlight over the luxurious fashion market regarding the inhumane processes of skinning animals to produce high-end leather material. Here are six natural fibre materials which can replicate and may replace leather in the future without inflicting harm on animals.
1. Cork leather
The wooden colour tone provides an earthy and bohemian-chic vibe to accessories that are made with cork leather. The fabric comes from thin cork shavings from the bark of a cork oak tree. It is durable and versatile and is resistant to water and stains.
Purchase a variety of high-quality and beautiful cork products here on Etsy.
2. Mushroom leather
Resembling a softer version of suede, this biodegradable vegan fabric known as MuSkin is made from mushroom caps. The mushroom production waste couples with hemp or linen fibres to produce a durable and flexible matrix.
Purchase different sized samples of the MuSkin here on LifeMaterials.
3. Kombucha leather
You no longer will be drinking kombucha tea only. You can dry and stretch out the mixture of the yeast and bacteria found in this fermented tea to obtain a sustainable byproduct for garments. Although the durability is still in the works, the ever-advancing technology is surely going to tackle this current shortcoming.
4. Lab-grown leather
While the process of raising an animal to tanning its skin to make leather can take years, scientists have produced the same by-product within just two weeks—in a lab. Modern Meadow is a start-up which uses animal skin cells that produce collagen to grow leather. The first result was achieved four years ago and will soon be available for consumer purchase as well.
5. Pineapple leather
Yeap, you heard it, and it is already a thing. Pineapple leather is made from the fibres of the tropical fruit’s leaves. They are durable and biodegradable, as well as of a low cost. During a business trip to the Philippines, Spanish designer Carmen Hijosa came across barong talong, a Filipino shirt made with pineapple leaves fibres. Five years of research later, Piñatex was created.
Renowned brand Puma has already been involved in using this sustainable alternative to produce some of its shoes.
6. Wine leather
This combination screams elegance and regality. Wine leather is made from grape skin and seed fibres, causing zero harm to animals in its making. This form of leather alternative is highly sustainable because 26 billion litres of wine is produced annually.
Architect Gianpiero Tessitore will launch his wine leather garments in October in Milan.
Written by: Sumichhya Gurung