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Appleskin is a leather-like material produced by the German company Nuuwaï. The material is PETA-approved vegan and consists of 26% apple waste, 38% polyurethane (PU), 20% polyester and 16% cotton. For the production of the material the apple waste is dried and milled into a fine powder, which is then mixed with PU and applied onto tear-resistant cotton fabric. The resulting material is long-lasting, water-resistant and Oeco-Tex 100 certified. While the apple waste is able to replace some of the PU, a certain amount is still needed to make the bags durable. However, Nuuwaï are currently working on a more sustainable solution of bio-based PU made from fermented biomass.

APPLESKIN PRODUCTS

Bamboo fibre can be extracted using two different methods: mechanical extraction, which results in a fabric that resembles linen (also often called bamboo linen), and chemical extraction, which results in a rayon (viscose) fabric. In comparison to other viscose fabrics, bamboo grows quickly even without the use of pesticides or herbicides. In addition to that, fabric made from bamboo is highly water-absorbent, breathable and anti-bacterial.

BAMBOO PRODUCTS

Banana fibre is derived from the pseudostem of the banana plant. It is extremely resource-efficient due to the fact that it is made from waste material that would otherwise be burnt or left to rot. The extraction and processing methods for banana fibre can vary to a great extent, with some being more eco-friendly than others. Depending on those methods, the quality of banana fibre can range from a rough bast fibre to a shiny and soft yarn that is very similar to silk.

BANANA FIBRE PRODUCTS

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Cactus leather is a plant-based leather alternative made from nopal cactus leaves and polyurethane (PU), produced by the Mexican company Desserto. The material is made from USDA certified cactus grown in an organic farming system in the fertile and mineral-rich region of Zacatecas, Mexico. For the production of the material only mature leaves are cut without damaging the plant itself, which makes repeat harvesting possible every 6-8 months. Cactus is a natural carbon sink, and only three leaves of cactus are needed to create one linear metre of Desserto. The finished material is produced without the use of phthalates and PVC and is durable, tear-resistant and soft.

CACTUS LEATHER PRODUCTS

Coconut leather is a water-resistant bio-composite material made from organic bacterial cellulose. Waste coconut water, a by-product from harvesting the flesh, is collected by local farmers in Southern India and used to feed the bacteria’s cellulose production. After the fermentation process the sheets of cellulose jelly are harvested and reinforced with natural fibres (banana, sisal and hemp fibre), resins and gum. The resulting material is certified vegan, biodegradable and has similar qualities to leather. The final look can be matte, semi-glossy or completely glossy through the use of water- or oil-based coatings, and is available in different colours using mordant-free natural dyes.

Cork is a natural material that is derived from the cork oak tree, which mostly grows in the Mediterranean and Iberian region. It can be harvested every nine years from the outermost layer of the tree. Cork material keeps its unique surface structure and can be used as a vegan alternative to leather. The material is extremely lightweight, water- and tear resistant. In addition to that, a harvested cork oak tree can absorb up to five times more carbon than one that is not harvested, making the process even more eco-friendly.

CORK PRODUCTS

Cupro is a cellulosic fibre that is made from cotton linters. These cotton linters are a by-product of the cotton harvest and consist of fibres that are too small to spin. The manufacturing of cupro requires the use of chemicals, but if produced in the most sustainable way possible, the chemicals are kept in a closed-loop system in order to minimise their environmental harm. Cupro has similar properties to cotton while at the same time being soft and lustrous, which is why it is often used as a vegan alternative to silk.

Econyl is a regenerated nylon yarn from the Italian recycling company Aquafil. It is made using both post-consumer waste, such as discarded fishing nets, and pre-consumer waste in the form of fabric scraps. The waste is collected from around the world and is treated in Slovenia in a closed loop system into 100% regenerated and regenerable nylon. As well as saving harmful ghost nets from the ocean, this method also uses 50% less energy than the production of virgin nylon. In addition to that it reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 50% and entirely avoids the extraction of crude oil.

ECONYL PRODUCTS

Ecovero is a viscose fibre developed by Lenzing, who provide a fully transparent supply chain of their manufacturing process in Austria. The fibre is produced in an eco-responsible process and comes from certified renewable wood sources. The resulting yarn is completely biodegradable, and a T-Shirt made from Ecovero will decompose within only three months. Compared to conventional viscose production, Ecovero is generating 50% lower emissions and water impact, and all chemicals are kept in a closed loop system. The fabric itself feels very smooth, is lightweight and provides an efficient moisture regulation.

ECOVERO PRODUCTS

Hemp grows rapidly and uses approximately half the amount of water and land compared to conventional cotton. In addition to that, hemp grows so densely that it is able to crowd out weeds without the help of herbicides. Clothing made from hemp is durable, highly moisture-absorbent and naturally anti-bacterial. The drape and feel of hemp fabric is very similar to linen.

HEMP PRODUCTS

Milk fibre is made from leftover milk that can no longer be used for food production and would usually be discarded. Instead of disposing of it, companies such as QMilk turn the milk into a protein fibre which is suitable for the textile industry. Milk fibre has a soft and smooth feel and is beneficial for the skin, therefore making it an ideal choice for people with allergies or skin sensitivity. The fibre itself is biodegradable, and clothing made from milk fibre has antibacterial properties and absorbs moisture well.

Modal is a type of rayon, a cellulosic fibre made mostly from beech trees. While conventional rayon (viscose) is often seen as unsustainable due to deforestation and toxic production processes, the Austrian company Lenzing have managed to create an eco-friendly Modal production process which is entirely based on renewable resources and the recovery of process chemicals. Modal fabric has great mechanical properties since it is breathable and absorbs around 50% more water than cotton. In addition to that, Modal fabric is very soft and has a great resistance to shrinking and pilling.

MODAL PRODUCTS

Orange Fiber is an Italian company that produces cellulosic fibre and fabric from citrus juice by-products. They thereby make use of some of the 700 000 tons of citrus waste that are discarded alone in Italy every year. The fabric made from this citrus fibre has a very smooth and soft feel and is therefore often compared to silk. Like other cellulosic fabrics, it is breathable, durable and easy to care for. In addition to that, Orange Fiber also contains  vitamin C and the same essential oils that are present in the citrus fruit peels.

Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or other harmful chemicals. While the water usage of organic cotton is still high in comparison to other fibres, its production is using a considerably lower amount of water than conventional cotton. Organic cotton is a natural fibre that is renewable and biodegradable, and clothing made from this fibre is breathable and absorbs moisture well.

ORGANIC COTTON PRODUCTS

Within conventional silk production, silk cocoons are usually boiled or dried out with the silk worm still trapped inside in order to get an undamaged filamentPeace silk production on the other hand enables the silk worm to either hatch from its cocoon naturally, or the cocoons are cut open so the silk worm can emerge before the fibre is processed and spun. Companies like Cocccon produce GOTS certified peace silk which is manufactured entirely without the use of chemicals and hormones.

PEACE SILK PRODUCTS

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Pineapple fibre is made from the leaves of the pineapple plant, which are an agricultural byproduct of the food industry. The use of pineapple fibre is very versatile. Ananas Anam for example have managed to create a non-woven mesh made from pineapple fibres, which forms the base of Piñatex®. Piñatex® is often referred to as a vegan alternative to leather, and is also more sustainable due to its lower environmental impact. Besides, the production of pineapple fibre creates an additional and stable income for farming communities.
Ramie counts as one of the oldest textile fibres and is derived from the nettle plant. It can be harvested up to six times a year and undergoes a process that includes decortication and degumming in order to achieve a spinnable fibre. Ramie belongs to the group of bast fibres and has qualities similar to those of linen. In addition to that, the fibre is bacteria resistant and has a high moisture absorbance.

 

RAMIE PRODUCTS

Unlike virgin polyester - which heavily relies on the use of petroleum - recycled polyester uses PET as its base material. PET is the same material which is used in clear plastic bottles, and recycling it into fabric minimises the amount that goes to landfills. In addition to that, the production of recycled polyester only uses about half the amount of energy compared to virgin polyester. Recycled polyester has the same positive attributes as virgin polyester, but is also considerably less harmful to the environment. It is extremely durable, resistant to stretching and shrinking, and has a very short drying time. 

RECYCLED PET PRODUCTS

Soy fibre is made from the by-products of soy production and tofu manufacturing, and is therefore highly resource efficient. While the production process of soy fibre is often viewed as critical due to the use of GMO soy and chemicals, the fibre itself has outstanding mechanical properties. Clothing made from soy fibre is not only highly breathable, moisture absorbent and easy to care for - it also contains amino acids which are beneficial for the human skin.

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Teak leaves can be used as a plant-based alternative to leather. The fallen leaves are handpicked, dried, and covered in a fine layer of protective coating in order to make them durable and long-lasting. The process of creating this leather-like material is a traditional craft in Asian countries, particularly Thailand. Since the structure of every leaf varies, each product crafted from them is truly unique.

 

Tencel - also known as lyocell - is a fibre from the Austrian company Lenzing. The fibre is produced from renewable cellulosic plants using an environmentally responsible production process. In most cases it is derived from eucalyptus trees, which are known to grow fast even without the use of fertilisers or pesticides. Tencel is a type of rayon, but due to its closed loop production it causes less environmental harm than conventional rayon and viscose production. The fibre produced by Lenzing is certified as compostable and biodegradable and can be integrated back into nature's cycle after its use. In addition to that, Tencel is anti-bacterial, breathable, lightweight, and highly moisture-absorbent.

TENCEL PRODUCTS

Wine leather or grape leather is made from grape skin, stalks and seeds, which are all by-products of wine production. The material is entirely vegan and its manufacturing uses very little amounts of water. After extracting the oil from the seeds and drying the grape marc, they are combined with water-based polyurethane (PUD) to create an eco-composite material. This bio-based material is then coated onto organic cotton fabric, resulting in a vegan leather alternative that consists of 70% renewable and recycled raw materials. Wine leather is durable and versatile, and its application is currently ranging from handbags to shoes and even car interiors.

WINE LEATHER PRODUCTS