WILL FEMIN - FROM PINEAPPLE LEATHER TO LEATHER FROM THE PETRI DISH

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Why we deal with alternative materials despite the use of leather. And what we think about leather grown in petri dishes

by Antonia Eggers |

 

 | Read through our experience with leather alternatives 

 

As a bag label with a focus on high quality, and durability of our products, we have deliberately chosen to use leather for our bags. Our leather is processed gently and undergoes a biological process during tanning. From Italy it is transported within Europe to our manufacture in Warsaw. We produce as far in advance as possible so that the number of deliveries and thus the transport routes remain as small as possible. We attach great importance to minimising our waste and therefore we recycle our cutting waste. We value the material and we are open and transparent about the fact that leather is our material of choice. Nevertheless, innovation is at the forefront of our development. We work daily on the development of our range and are always open to new materials that enrich our portfolio. During our research we have come across some very interesting alternatives to leather, which we are currently testing. We are sharing with you our first experiences from fruit leather to leather grown in petri dishes.  

 

 

APPLE LEATHER 

Leather from apples sounds unusual at first, but it is already established in the fashion and furniture industry. It is produced in northern Italy as a waste product of apple juice production and consists of the apple skin. This is dried and ground to powder from which a leather-like material is made. Thus a solution to two problems has been developed: a use for the local apple waste and an answer to the increasing demand for ecological alternatives to leather. Optically it looks very similar to real leather, but we miss the same noble and soft feeling that our genuine leather gives us.

 

Nevertheless it is an absolutely great product. 

 

PINEAPPLE LEATHER 

 

Pineapple leather is also a waste material that is obtained from a fruit, namely the pineapple. Or even more concretely: the pineapple leaf fibre. The raw material that forms the basis of pineapple leather is a by-product of the pineapple harvest in the Philippines. The leaves left behind during the harvest are collected and the long fibres are extracted. These are then dried, cleaned and processed into a kind of fleece. The dyeing is done with GOTS certified pigments (biologically produced) while a resin coating provides additional strength, durability and water resistance. The sustainable and long-lasting aspect of pineapple leather is a clear winner and we have also noticed the great variety of colours.

 

Unfortunately, the feel is somewhat plastic and therefore cannot withstand real leather. 

 

GRAPE LEATHER 

We love wine! Who would have thought that waste from the production of our favourite drink would be used to make a kind of grape leather. The "leather" is made from grape skins and seeds and is available in the natural shades of wine: rouge, Bordeaux, etc. The product can be printed so that it resembles any type of animal skin. There is also a visual similarity to real leather but similar to apple leather we lack a suppleness that is very important for us. Although the range of colours is not yet that wide, it can still be considered a solid alternative to leather.

 

 

 

PETRI DISH LEATHER 

 

A leather material that comes from a petri dish stands out in our list, because it is not a product that is made from fruit waste. It is rather a biofabricated leather produced with proteins and collagens derived from the same yeast from which beer is made. The process creates a liquid mass from which textures, shapes and thicknesses can be formed to resemble real leather. Although it is not yet available, we firmly believe that it will soon be on everyone's lips as we believe it is the epitome of sustainability and innovation.

 

We will test it as soon as it is available and let you know our thoughts.

 

OUR THOUGHTS 

There are now many cool alternatives and additions to leather and behind each one of them is an interesting story. The idea of producing leather from waste products is a very progressive innovation, because everything that can be recycled should be reused. However, it does not yet replace the durability, feel and high quality of our leather. We are indeed very excited about the leather from the Petri dish. It looks promising and could perhaps come close to the look and feel of real leather. The change in our society is omnipresent and contributing to an environmentally friendly world is a matter close to our hearts.

 

Therefore we always let all inspirations for new innovations and alternatives flow into our further development and are not afraid to try something new.