The vegan leather made from India’s waste flowers

Posted by: IAAS Secretariat

Inside a dusty compound in the northern Indian city of Kanpur lies a sterilised lab with an incubator full of flasks. Each of these flasks contains a small mound of what looks like a sourdough starter.

The room nextdoor houses a shiny metal cylindrical vessel called a bioreactor, akin to what you might expect to find in a laboratory which manufactures antibiotics. But this is no pharmaceutical facility – what is being made in the pipe-laden bioreactor won’t save you from an infection. It could help make India’s rivers a bit cleaner though

It’s called Fleather, and it’s a new material being developed as a sustainable alternative to animal leather. It is delicate and smooth to touch, like soft lamb skin leather, and its journey begins in an unexpected place – flowers.

Fleather, made by a Kanpur-based startup called Phool, is part of an emerging trend of companies producing plant- and fungi-based leather alternatives which aim to disrupt the traditional leather industry and capitalise on growing interest in “vegan” fashion.

Fleather is made by repurposing floral waste generated in temples across India, and it is Phool’s moonshot.

This article was published with limited permission from BBC Future. Click the link below to read full article.

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