Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021 - 35

Producing greener 'leather'
With manufacturers and consumers alike increasingly raising objections to animal agriculture
and the harmful chemicals used in leather production, bio-based leather alternatives are
showing up in a range of products.
1 Upcycling meat industry waste
Based in Estonia, Gelatex Technologies Ltd. is a producer of gelatin nanofiber
materials, including alternative leather textiles and 3D scaffolds for tissue
engineering made from meat industry waste. Prototypes of the leather-like textile
have been used in Belgium-based Finnish designer Anna Lehmusniemi's brand
NO/AN in a line of handbags and totes. Mari-Ann Meigo Fonseca, cofounder and
COO of Gelatex, reports, " We are open to licensing the technology to companies
who have resources and know-how that would enable improving the material
and starting production. " Photo: Gelatex.
2 From fungus to fashion
Mycelium, the vegetative part of fungus, is proving a viable source for
bio-based leather alternatives and other products. New York's Ecovative
Design LLC develops and customizes a variety of advanced materials,
including Forager™
Hides, in its 35,000-square-foot Mycelium Foundry.
After growing in rectangular sheets up to 20 feet in length, the mycelium
" hides " are ready to tan and finish to resemble leather. Photo: Evocative.
Bolt Threads' Mylo™
consortium brings global
brands adidas, Kering, Lululemon and Stella
McCartney together in several commercial
projects using Bolt's mycelium-based vegan
leather alternative. The recent introduction
of adidas' Stan Smith Mylo marks the firstever
shoe made from the California-based
company's " unleather. " Photo: adidas.
3 A prickly alternative
Desserto®
cactus vegan leather alternative is made from Nopal
cactus-also known as the prickly pear-which requires little water
and sequesters carbon. Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Desserto
co-founders Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez explain, " The
idea began mainly in the leather goods industry, to make materials for
bags, handbags and footwear, but we [are reaching] industries that we
never imagined, such as automotive, aeronautics and even sports. " Los
Angeles, Calif.-based Sanabul, maker of Los Cactus boxing gloves, calls
Desserto's product " the best material we have ever used. " In addition,
fashion accessory brand Fossil recently released a collection of Kier
Cactus Leather Totes, developed with Desserto. Photo: Desserto.
www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com 35
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Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review July 2021

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