“Fleather”, vegan flower leather

The story: https://plantbasednews.org/lifestyle/fashion/india-flower-leather-ganges/

Photo credits: (from the link above).

Excerpts:

A company in Kanpur, India, is converting waste flowers that pollute the Ganges river into a vegan leather alternative.

Dubbed “Fleather,” the material is the brainchild of startup Phool. The company states that it has captured the soft feel of lamb’s leather, but with none of the cruelty. And it should know, given that Kanpur is the hub of India’s leather industry.

Similarly to mycelium leather, which is currently being used by a slew of high-profile designers, including Stella McCartney, Fleather is made using bioreactors. This allows fungal microorganisms to grow into a material-like fiber.

Initially, Phool’s experiments with manufacturing conditions produced a thick fibrous material, not dissimilar to styrofoam, but it had a familiar feel. This led researchers to suggest it could be used to make a more delicate leather alternative.

Phool, meaning “flower” in Hindi, was launched in 2017 after its founder, Ankit Agarwal, observed the amount of rubbish floating in the Ganges. A vast proportion of the waste consisted of tons of flowers which were discarded as part of Hindu worship.

Having been used in religious practices, the flowers are considered sacred and cannot be thrown away with regular garbage. This leaves worshippers with little option but to throw their floral tributes into India’s most sacred river.

Despite being natural entities, the flowers are laden with pesticides, which leech into the river as they decompose. The result is a threat to both marine and human health, as many Hindu worshippers bathe in and drink the Ganges water.

Agarwal initially planned to convert the floral discard into incense sticks. However, the collecting and storing of flowers led to an accidental discovery that made the company change tack.

BFM 89.9 featured it too: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1018865422944436&set=pcb.1018868482944130

The following pictures are from BFM 89.9:

 


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