The latest innovations in vegan fabrics
One of the things that excites us the most is finding new, innovative sustainable materials. We’re constantly striving to create products that will wow you, and we’re particularly excited about this one…
Introducing the Ledbury, our most innovative and advanced puffer bag to date.
It is made from our signature recycled vegan leather and new Pinatex - a natural fiber made from pineapple leaves!
Vegan leather is here to stay!
If you’re reading this, you’ll most likely agree that all animals are sentient beings and should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Sadly, billions of animals are cruelly skinned whilst conscious and slaughtered for their skins(1) every year to make the leather that big labels use today. Our cruelty-free values mean we are committed to supporting ethical alternatives to animal skins.
Our Ledbury puffer backpack is made from Recycled Vegan Leather, 100% recycled polyester and Pinatex. If you’re keen to find out what recycled plastic is, and how recycled polyester is made, read our other blog here.
The vegan leather that we source is 100% recycled polyester with a PU coating. To make the fabric resemble animal hide, PU coating is applied to one side of the fabric ensuring the fabric is water resistant, lightweight and flexible. Like leather, it wrinkles or breaks when stitched, gathered, or tufted remaining soft and supple providing the closest imitation of leather that will age beautifully over time.
Besides animal welfare, shifting away from labels that still use animal products is also a crucial first step in reducing your environmental impact. Turning skin into animal leather takes huge amounts of energy and water, with one ton of hide (skin) generally producing 20 to 80 m3 of wastewater. The production requires a toxic brew of chemicals, like Chromium for tanning, that pollute soil and water whilst negatively impacting the life expectancy of those that work with it.
In contrast, vegan leather is made from natural vegetable tannins, which are biodegradable and can be disposed of easily at the end of their natural lives. Little to no harmful chemicals are needed, and the energy needed for production is significantly lower.
The impact of vegan leather production can be one-third lower than that of animal-based leather. We believe it has the power to change how leather is used in the fashion industry on a fundamental level.
The spike in interest for Pinatex
Research and development of sustainable materials is rapidly increasing. We believe it is our responsibility to carefully try out and integrate the sustainable materials that are breaking into the industry so the future of green textile design is accessible to you. When we stumbled across material from the waste leaves of the pineapple plant, we were amazed by its no or low-impact nature. We incorporated Pinatex into the Ledbury backpack and it proved to be unique, sustainable and strong.
Piñatex is a pioneer in leather alternatives made from cellulose fibres extracted from pineapple leaves invented by a conscious designer Carmen Hijosa and manufactured by her company Ananas Anam Ltd. Pineapple leaves are a byproduct of existing agriculture; it flowers and fruits once, then leaves are a waste product after harvest. It also creates an additional income stream for farming communities making it a responsibility as well as a sustainable choice.
The quality is what sets this material apart. We love how soft, lightweight and flexible it is and how easy it is to care for. It is one of the most beautiful leathers on the market, with a unique texture, giving the Ledbury robustness and durability.
What we did find is that it is an expensive material. It takes about 460 leaves to make one square meter of Piñatex fabric which may be why it is sold at a high cost for not a large amount of material. This is not surprising when it's already used today by fashion giants like H&M, Hugo Boss, and Paul Smith. For smaller businesses, it would prove difficult to use it on a large scale. Fortunately for us, we create our products in small limited editions to preserve the exclusivity and luxury of this timeless design.
Sustainable materials offer the endless possibilities of a green tomorrow. At Culthread we are driven by innovation and disruptive change across the textile industry. We cannot wait to share our Ledbury with you - keep an eye out for the launch this week!
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Skin trade is a cruel business. It involves the inhumane slaughter of millions of animals including dogs, cats and even birds. Animals live in fear every day. They are tortured and killed by humans for their skin which is then sold at an exorbitant price for fashion. The practices are cruel and barbaric. We need to end this cycle of killing animals for their skin, fur and feathers. Maintaining the supply for animal skins requires some species to be bred purely for trade, the same as is done for the fur trade. Animal leather has been a contentious material for decades and in the fight against this cruel practice, many countries have banned its production altogether.