Fortunately, there are other alternatives, particularly those that have been developed from agricultural waste. In fact, vegan leather has become a popular choice now because it’s a lot cheaper and is actually cruelty-free. According to PETA, more than a billion cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, ostriches, kangaroos, and even dogs and cats are “cruelly slaughtered for their skins every year.” Vegan leather, on the other hand, is made in an ethical manner.
Vegan leather is known to be created from corn, mushrooms, apples, mulberry tree leaves, coconut, pineapple, mango, and coffee. But according to Coveteur, they can still be hard on the environment. They suggest using fruit-based leather instead, which is “much nice to planet earth.” Nina Marenzi, the founder of The Sustainable Angle, also agrees: “Sourcing materials from a wider variety of fibers, including innovations appearing now made from food waste, algae, regenerate cellulose, recycled sources is the way forward.” So instead of contributing to wastage caused by food consumption, why not transform your waste into something useful and turn it into a fashion statement?
Here are some brands that champion fruit-based leather:
Piñatex is one of the most famous fruit-based vegan leathers. It’s made from pineapple leaf fibers, which are sourced from the Philippines, then transported to Spain. Piña is also one of the fabrics used to make our national dress, the Barong Tagalog. Other than the fact that they’re cruelty-free, they also provide additional income to farmers.
Nuuwaï is an award-winning Germany-based vegan brand creating modern bags made of apple skin. To make their apple leather, Nuuwaï takes the fruit waste from the apple industry (which is largely from apple juice production), dehydrate and ground it into apple powder. Apart from using apple leather for their bags, Nuuwaï uses 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets for their bag’s linings. For its packaging, the brand also doesn’t use plastic, but cotton dust-bags.
This brand preserves some of the 700,000 tons of orange peel that are discarded to create juice in Italy. For what reason, you ask? They transform it into soft and silky fabric—ideally for clothes. H&M’s Conscious Collection also uses Orange Fiber for its new eco-friendly materials, which also include Piñatex. The silky material they use on their blouses is created from citrus juice.