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In recent years, the concept of “leather” has undergone a real overhaul.
Following concerns about fashion’s contribution to the current global climate crisis, innovative companies are rethinking the way we produce and consume this highly polluting material, which contributes to climate change, deforestation, water pollution and land, and many other environmental issues.
Where we once had the choice of wearing animal hides or petroleum-derived ‘leather’, we are now faced with a plethora of options that all come from natural sources: Leather can now be made from pineapple, cork, apples, corn, kombucha. , mushrooms… and mangoes?
Previously unheard of, mango leather is a creation of the Dutch material innovation company FruitLeather Rotterdam, which claims to ‘transform fruit scraps into a durable leather-like material’.
Founders Koen Meerkerk and Hugo De Boon, both 26, are true innovators of ancient materials: their material derived from mango helps solve several problems. One of them is food waste: the two founders noticed that unsold fruit was wasted in local Rotterdam markets, and decided to collect the unsold food for use in their materials. The second problem is the fact that leather kills a billion animals every year, subjecting most of them to the horrors of factory farming, and putting enormous pressure on the planet.
During the process, which currently takes place at the company’s facilities in Rotterdam, the mangoes are crushed and boiled to kill bacteria. The resulting fruit puree is spread over a surface and allowed to dry, resulting in tough sheets of the leather-like material the company offers to brands and designers.
Luxury vegan handbags
So far, it has not been possible to buy mango leather fashion in the UK, but London-based vegan fashion label Luxtra is set to change that.
Founder Jessica Kruger is emerging as one of the first retailers in the country to launch mango leather models created by FruitLeather Rotterdam – and if that sounds like its existing line of Pineapple Piñatex and Apple Leather Frumat , the results will inevitably be sensational.
“I’m always on the lookout for the most innovative materials,” Kruger said. Plant news. “At the same time, it means that sometimes it’s more difficult to work with them because you need more development. So I have been working with FruitLeather Rotterdam for over two years to get the right product.
Fashionable and functional
And with the sleek and sophisticated silhouettes that define Luxtra, there’s no doubt that the mango designs will be another hit for this high vegan brand.
So what makes mango leather fashionable? Besides its fight against food waste and its valuable ecological credentials, it is the perfect blend of fashion and functionality.
“It’s a very thick material, so perfect for accessories,” says Kruger. “In addition, FruitLeather Rotterdam can do all kinds of embossing on the leather. It is simply magnificent.
You can consult Luxtra’s online store here