The Future of Leather
The first sighting of leather was dated back to 1300 BC. Fast forward to the 21st century, and the leather industry is worth 407 billion dollars. Wearing leather is a statement on any occasion, but the story behind leather has a huge impact on the earth. Understanding the dark side of this industry will expand our perspectives to find alternative solutions for this fabric.
Honestly, it would be easier if we can use the skin of our exes. However, I think society would condone those actions. (Haha, just kidding!) Within the leather industry, there is a tremendous amount of animal cruelty. The livestock industry itself adds to deforestation, water and land overuse, and gas emissions. The process of tanning leather so it can be durable, may sound wonderful at first, but if the pieces of leather were thrown away, they will sit in landfills for years. This is why consumers have so much power. We can acquire all this knowledge and set our intentions, so we are not supporting the fast-fashion cycle.
Let me share with you all what I am most excited to talk about in this post, the future of leather. As consumer demand changes in these industries, pioneers have sought creative ways to solve these environmental problems. Through technology, science, and natural resources these ideas are still in research and development. However, one day the time will come when mass production of these products will hit the storefront.
- Modern Meadow is a leading pioneer for biofabrication. By using science, they are able to engineer yeast to create leather. The yeast is fermented like beer and produces collagen protein. The protein is transformed into the leather material we use for clothing. Their subbrand ZOA is developing a liquid leather, which can help remove the waste of textile in the design process.
- Muskin Leather is a type of vegetable leather made from a particular mushroom. The mushroom is treated without using polluting substances. It is transpiring, water-repellent, and non-toxic. At the moment, only 40-50 square meters of Muskin can be produced in a month.
- Piñatex, a natural vegan leather made from pineapple leaves. It is a breathable and flexible material. It has been used in the manufacturing of bags, shoes, wallets, watch bands, and seat covers. The textile is currently being developed for use in clothing.
- Will Green’s vegan leather is made from a mix of polyurethane and bio-oil. The bio-oil is sourced from cereal crops that were originally grown in northern Europe through a carbon neutral process. The company is also working towards zero waste, with help from its carbon neutral supply chain and plastic-free shipping.
Thank you so much for reading! Share with me your opinions and thoughts on these creative solutions. I’ll see you in two weeks for my next blog post.
P.S: A huge shoutout to my friends for wearing leather in the heat. Ya’ll are hot af!!! Oh, plus Henry and Theresa for sitting in the car hehe.
Models: Emily Hatfield, Stevie Nguyen, Jessica Edward
Sources: Fibre Briefing: Leather, Leather: Cruel, Not Cool, The History of Leather Craft