Pangaia, Natural Fiber Welding launches plant-based leather clothing

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2023-04-04 17:59:09 – United Kingdom

London-based innovation company, Pangaia and Natural Fiber Welding has launched Air Gilet, a first-of-its-kind, leather-like puffer vest. The interior of the design is lined with organic cotton fleece from Pangaia and filled with its FLWRDWN™. A newly reformulated and thinner version of MIRUM®, the prior plant-based leather substitute created by Natural Fiber Welding, is used for the exterior of the product.

The $800 vest is the first mass-produced ready-to-wear item created using plant-based leather. The manufacturer of the Mirum material, Natural Fiber Welding, located in Illinois, plans to develop other factories in Southeast Asia within the next two years. The objective is to increase the manufacturing of the material to millions of square feet every week.

Dr. Amanda Parkes, chief innovation officer of Pangaia, said that the company's primary focus is on creating lifestyle products that are more geared toward clothing than shoes and bags. One industry that plant-based leather hasn't yet entered is ready-to-wear since the material needs to be both lightweight and flexible while being sufficiently durable.

Pangaia and NFW are both a part of the Plastic Free Collective, an organization of businesses looking for alternatives to the widespread use of plastic that was founded this year by NFW. Since its debut in 2018, Pangaia has concentrated on material advances, with new developments frequently driving its product collaborations and launches.

NFW Vice President Oihana Elizalde, said that NFW did explore earlier collaborations on the apparel space with MCQ and released some concept garments, but those earlier MIRUM® versions were still not ready for prime time and full industrialization for the apparel industry.

Scalable plant-based leathers have the potential to take off as the environmental effect of leather, which has historically carried a large margin for businesses, comes under scrutiny. Large fashion firms that are normally dependent on conventional leather now have a proof point in the form of Mirum's Air Gilet. This year, NFW will produce its one-millionth pair of Mirum-based shoes.

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