Leather is an animal product that is harsh on animals and the environment. Even when leather is produced in more sustainable ways, it still involves the murdering of animals, which makes vegans and vegetarians avoid it. But now Australian designers, students and scientists have found an exciting vegan solution to the problem of leather.
· Growing Leather From Kombucha Tea
You might drink kombucha tea, which is a fermented drink of sugar and black tea, but it can actually be used to create leather when it is combined with yeast! Interestingly, this concept is not a new one by any means. It was started by London fashion designer Suzanne Lee back in 2003. But now an Australian team under the guide of scientist Dr Peter Musk is working on making it a reality. With the use of kombucha tea to create leather, the future could soon see items such as jackets, and even shoes, being made from this vegan and animal-friendly ingredient.
· How The Process Works
The exciting process starts with putting a scoby, which is a culture of yeast and bacteria, into the green tea. The bacteria feeds on it and produces a waste product that rises to the surface. After many weeks, it starts to grow thicker. It can then be removed and dried. The leathery substance is soft and can be used to create a variety of leather-like items. The use of oils, such as coconut oil, can also be adopted to make the leathery substance easier to work with. But the best part is that this leather-like substance is sustainable as well as durable, providing an interesting alternative to the leather industry.
It's exciting to think that vegans and vegetarians might soon be able to wear 'leather' without the guilt of how it is harming animals and the environment.