Vegan Leather Made from Kombucha in the Works!
I personally thought that vegan leather made from pineapples was going to take the cake this year for one of the most innovative and unexpected cruelty-free materials in clothing. I was wrong.
Kombucha, a fermented tea most people either love or hate, is the key ingredient in a new leather alternative being created by researchers at Iowa State University. According to Food & Wine, the material is created by:
“Combing cellulose fibers taken from kombucha tea with vinegar, sugar, bacteria and yeast in a shallow bath. Then, they harvest the material that grows on top of the mix and dry it. Ta-da! A tough, very leather-like leather substitute is born.”
An associate professor from the group of Iowa State researchers, Young-A Lee, stated that one of their goals was to create environmentally-conscious fashion with their biodegradable kombucha-based leather. She stated:
“Fashion, to most people, is an ephemeral expression of culture, art, and technology manifesting itself in form. Fashion companies keep producing new materials and clothing, from season to season, year to year, to fulfill consumers’ desire and needs. Think about where these items eventually go. They will take tremendous underground spaces of the Earth like other trash.”
While the product is incredibly exciting, it is not quite ready just yet. The team is working on fixing the fact that the material loses its structural integrity when wet, and becomes brittle when cold, and are looking for ways to speed up the four week process it takes to produce one sheet of material.
This product definitely seems worth the wait, and perhaps by then an even stranger alternative will be in the works!
Photo Credit: http://inhabitat.com