A new 100% natural plant-based leather alternative has been launched by San Francisco-based company Allbirds. This alternative has been added to its line-up of open-source eco-materials. 2 million dollars has been invested by sustainable footwear and apparel brand Allbirds in the material innovation company Natural Fiber Welding and its Mirum technology for creating leather alternative called ‘Plant Leather’.
Natural rubber, vegetable oil, and other bio-ingredients are used to make the material. The new material is known to have 40 times less carbon impact than natural leather and 17 times less carbon impact in comparison to synthetic leather which is made from plastics.
Co-founder and co-CEO of Allbirds Joey Zwillinger said that it has been a long time that fashion companies are prioritizing cost and speed over the environment by relying on synthetics and unsustainable leather. He added that scalable and sustainable antidotes to leather are being created by Natural Fiber Welding which is resulting in a reduction of carbon emissions by 98%. On their journey to eradicate petroleum from the fashion industry, this partnership with NFW by the introduction of Plant Leather based on their technology is a powerful step.
Allbirds was launched by industrial engineer Joey Zwillinger and former soccer player Tim Brown in 2016. Since then on the sustainable fashion platform, it has quickly made a name for itself by use of regenerative natural materials such as FSC-certified eucalyptus tree fiber and SweetFoam which is a proprietary innovation made with sugarcane.
Initially, the company started as an e-tailer selling footwear but then it expanded into the apparel sector also. Globally there are around 22 brick-and-mortar stores serving in 35 countries.
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