Vegan leathers have been sold to us as a sustainable and cruelty-free offering. But the ubiquitous generation of synthetic 'pleathers' is arguably a far more damaging proposition for the environment than traditional animal hides, unleashing harmful substances that have been linked to birth defects and liver damage. Although some may claim it isn't entirely vegan, one company is on the cusp of delivering the real deal.
Using shrimp shell and mushroom waste, TômTex has developed a luxurious yet functional alt-leather that promises to bring a new flavour to the world of biomaterials. The company admits that scaling up its patent-pending technology requires time, meaning the material still has some way to go before it earns its spot as a readily available commercial product. But we're all about championing the small movers and shakers setting their sights on a waste-free world devoid of plastics, poisons, and pollution, and TômTex deserves that recognition.