Yes, it’s vegan and definitely trendy

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After apples, mushrooms and even cobwebs, it’s time to make way for a new sustainable, ethical and vegan alternative to traditional textiles: grapes.

If you normally enjoy grapes or as a drink, be aware that in the (very) near future, this will likely be part of accessorizing your outfits, whether they are casual or sophisticated. Bags and shoes made from grape “leather”, which are more ethical and less harmful to the environment, are no longer a utopian fantasy.

However, let’s be more specific and talk about grape-based materials as it is not leather per se, as the National Leather Council (CNC) has repeatedly pointed out, indicating that many emerging materials are called, wrongly, “leather”. because they are visually similar. But, they noted in March, the term “leather” refers to a material with specific properties and qualities and should therefore be reserved only for the name of the leather material resulting from the tanning of the skin of an animal. .

These grape-based vegan materials are increasingly used by the fashion industry to limit its impact on the planet. But how are they developed? The Italian company VEGEA, specialist in the field, has joined forces with wine estates to recycle wine waste, such as grape pomace (skins, pulps, seeds and stems). Anything that is not used in the production of wine is collected, then processed and made available to the fashion industry.

Image: bonetta / Getty Images via ETX Daily Up

Big names come on board

In September 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, Le Coq Sportif made the headlines by presenting several vegan “grape leather” sneakers. The products included a classic model and a retro runner, the design of which is complemented by a cork insole and rubber outsole. And they turned out to be a success.

In collaboration with VEGEA, this collection sets the tone and shows that the biggest brands are ready to change things. And even the giants of fast fashion are getting into the dance, as H&M has also offered pieces in partnership with the Italian company for its eco-friendly H&M Conscious range.

In other categories, it has also been used by brands such as Pangaia (sneakers), Roman Raibaudi (bags) or Maison Peaux Neuves (bags).

It appears that this vegan material has a bright future ahead of it, especially since other sectors, such as decoration and the automobile, could quickly get involved. Indeed, Bentley was one of the first to have tried the experiment, also with VEGEA, almost two years ago. JB

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