Wineleather presents cruelty-free substitute for genuine leather

The vegan leather is made entirely from wine manufacturing leftovers, including grape skins, stalk and seeds.

May 12, 2017

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The vegan leather is made entirely from wine manufacturing leftovers, including grape skins, stalk and seeds.

Image source: Vegea, Facebook

The popularity of wine has now transcended the world of food and beverages.

In today's world where businesses and consumers are increasingly becoming aware of various animal-rights and environmental issues, many are taking a conscious effort to choose products made from cruelty-free and sustainable materials and processes.

Enter Vegea, a company from Milan, Italy specializing in vegan leather. Established in January 2016, the business' goal is to produce "innovative vegetal leather-like materials, based on ethical principles such as sustainability, health protection of workers and consumers, social responsibility and total respect for the environment."

It has succeeded in doing that this year with the creation of cruelty-free leather derived entirely from wine manufacturing leftovers, including grape skins, stalk and seeds. Called the Wineleather, the new sustainable material has bagged the first prize in the recently concluded Global Change Award organized by the H&M foundation.

"We developed an innovative production process, which converts fibers and vegetal oils contained in grape marc into an eco-friendly material. Globally, 26 billion liters of wine are produced every year. From this production process, we can derive almost 7 billion kilograms of grape marc, to be transformed into a high value-added raw material and potentially produce 3 billion square meters of Wineleather every year," Vegea said on its website.

This is not the first time a company has created leather from plant fibers. Last year, Spain-based enterprise Piñatex has developed biodegradable leather using pineapple wastes. Months later, MuSkin, derived entirely from mushroom fibers and a variant made from fermented tea called kombucha were unveiled. An Indonesia startup XXLabs also launched soy bean-based leather earlier this year.

The creation of these plant-derived alternatives signifies the great potential cruelty-free and sustainable leather has in the future.

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