As fast fashion is called upon to slow down, manufacturers are expected to start looking a little further afield for innovative, eco-friendly and ethical materials to craft with and that’s where apple leather comes in.
It’s thought that an apple a day can keep the doctor away but now, it could also be the secret to keeping landfills at bay. That’s a powerful concept but one that has not only already been proven out, but is also consistently evolving to allow for an increasing number of products to be made animal-free and with the environment firmly in mind.
What is apple leather?
While some might find the use of the word ‘leather’ distasteful, it’s entirely accurate, given that fruit skins are being used, but let’s not get hung on semantics when the evolution of this fascinating product was born out of zero-waste ambitions.
Looking for a way to use the waste from the juice and compote industry of Northern Italy, Alberto Volcan began experimenting, to see what was possible. A few unsuccessful ideas led to the creation of what is today, one of the most exciting new materials in the conscious fashion world. Similarly to animal leather, the apple substitute is waterproof and durable, but is also breathable, making it ideal for a range of finished products, ranging from footwear through to clothing and accessories. It looks and feels like traditional leather, but is comprised of apple pomace and peel, not animal skin, making it suitable for vegan, conscious and curious consumers alike.
Is apple leather actually eco-friendly?
Crafted from a 50/50 split of apple waste and PU coated canvas, it would be remiss not to acknowledge that some observers find the use of PU less than eco-friendly, but compared to the traditional alternative, the environmental credentials are hard to argue with. Plus, this is a new era for materials, meaning that continued development might eventually see PU excluded from the process.
For now, PU is part of the composition, but remember that apple waste is a renewable source, which allows for a generous CO2 reduction, compared to animal leather. Plus, by using waste that is already being created, it is prevented from entering the landfull cycle or being burned. The result is a significantly less harmful material that offers creative designers scope to make real change.
What can apple leather be used for?
One of the most exciting innovations, particularly for us, is that apple leather has been tested for durability and found to be more than suitable for producing conscious sneakers. With no compromise needed in terms of finish, style or quality, Italian apple leather has been inducted into our materials matrix to further enhance the waste-saving properties of our designs.
High-end luggage and designer clothing collections are also showcasing apple leather, particularly after a number of fashion houses pledged to stop using real fur in their pieces, with animal leather predicted to follow soon after.
A premium fabric that compromises nothing in terms of finish or quality, but offers industry-leading eco credentials, apple leather is changing the face of the fashion industry forever and we are firmly on-board.