LOOK: Here are eco-conscious brands making fashionable leather and other items from plants and fruits

Sustainability is the way to go, even for fashion brands. From paper to bottles to fashion, the innovation of byproducts has become more and more progressive throughout the years as humanity has become increasingly concerned about the spoils of disposable products. 

We are aware of paper being turned into recycled products like cartons, cardboards, and plates, while some plastics can be reformed into another container. Pushing innovation further, companies today can turn mango skin, pineapple, apple, cactus, coffee grounds and even coconut water into fashionable items.

Image source: Luxtra

Fruitleather Rotterdam, one of the companies that makes such an innovation, combines the world of fruit and leather to make valuable starting materials for fashionable items like footwear, accessories, and resources for the interior and furnishing industry. The brand is developing their leather with mango leftovers together with Luxtra, a conscious luxury label, to release handbags made of mangoes. Luxtra is also known for their bags made of recycled materials from pineapple, cactus, and apple. 

Image courtesy of H&M

H&M, one of the biggest fashion retailers in the world, has also been a part of this movement a few years back. Their Conscious line features sustainable, bio-products, too! One of game changers is from Vegea, a soft vegan leather alternative made from the byproducts of wine which H&M used on their shoes and some leather goods. Aside from their vegan leather-made accessories, H&M Conscious Exclusive A/W20 also offers merchandise made from wood pulp, and recycled metals. 

Image source: Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss released a collection of trainers made from Piñatex. The limited-edition styles are made of innovative leather-alternative from pineapple leaf fibres. The results are men's and women's footwear lines that make a minimal imprint on the planet while offering a sleek Boss look of gender-neutral tones.

Image source: Sundried.com

British brand Sundried makes activewear made of coffee grounds and they’re not only 100% recycled, the merchandise is also fast-drying, sweat-wicking, and deodorizing.

Image source: Orange Fiber

Italian luxury house Salvatore Ferragamo has also joined the sustainability train with a launch of citrus capsule collection. The brand made use of Orange Fiber fabrics to produce a limited edition capsule of breezy pieces like dresses, cardigans, and scarves.

Image source: Desserto Instagram

This next material may not be part of your usual diet but Mexican brand Desserto’s purpose is to create an alternative to animal leather as well. Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez, the brand’s creators, developed vegan leather made with nopal (a cactus), which they successfully showcased last October 2019 in Milan, Italy. From strapped bags to other cactus leather goods, Desserto aims to be a fashion brand of its own in the near future.

Image source: Malai

There’s also a company based in Kerala called Malai which is making fashion accessories out of vegan leather. Malai is a flexible, durable biocomposite material with a feel comparable to leather or paper. This one uses coconut water which undergoes fermentation and results in a sheet that is eventually reinforced with natural fibers, resins, and gum. Malai’s products range from textured shoes, sandals, bags, and small leather goods.

Featured image: Unsplash.com