What material is your handbag made of?
Handbags from the VIVO collection are vegan. Sewn in a small Polish manufacture with the highest leathercraft standards, from plant and fruit based materials, which are an innovative alternative to animal leather. You won’t feel the difference to the touch, but it is there. You can notice it by having a closer look at their sustainable production process.
BeLeaf - Alocasia leaf fabric
The material is produced in Brazil from “elephant ear” leaves, which are grown in cooperation with independent farmers in sustainable areas dedicated to reforestation. BeLeaf is not the obtained fiber, but the treatment of the whole leaf, which, thanks to an innovative process of strengthening and preservation, becomes a material similar to natural animal leather.
Alocasia leaves reach monumental sizes - their span varies from 20 to 50 centimeters, and their height can exceed 3 meters. Impressive, isn’t it?
The production process is sustainable and environmentally friendly:
- CO2 emission is compensated by the carbon absorption by the growing leaves
- the post-production waste is completely natural and can be used as compost
- the tanning process is 100% free of organic heavy metals, which allows water to be reused for fertilizing plants
Apple Skin – fabric made of apples
Apple Skin is made from industrial residues (peel and pomace) which come from the production of apple juice.The natural waste is drained, rubbed, and spread out on a solid sheet, so that almost all moisture is removed. The produced mass turns into a flexible, leathery coating, which, when combined with polyurethane, creates a full-value, aesthetic and durable vegan leather. No additional environmental resources are needed to create it.
Wineleather – fabric made of grapes
Wineleather is made from wine biomass, i.e. grape marc (skins, seeds, stalks) that remain after the winemaking process. The fibers and oils present in the pomace are transformed into an ecological material with mechanical, aesthetic and sensory properties of animal leather. Water consumption is minimal and no polluting chemicals are used. Thus, the entire process is highly sustainable and follows the principles of a closed circuit. The material is produced in Italy, the world’s best wine country, therefore the possibilities of obtaining the necessary raw material are almost limitless.
Pinatex – pineapple leaf fabric
Pinatex is made from the fiber obtained from pineapple leaves, a by-product of pineapple harvesting. Long threads are extracted using semi-automatic machines, washed, dried naturally, and then cleaned of any contamination. The soft, fluffy material is mechanically processed and expertly finished, dyed and coated with a resin topcoat for extra strength, durability and water resistance. You don’t need any additional environmental resources to produce Pinatex. Cruelty-free, it has low environmental impact and high social responsibility (producing it creates an additional income stream for farming communities).
Fruitleather – mango skin fabric
Fruitleather is the result of the hard work of two young designers from the Netherlands who decided to use their passion to create valuable things from objects deemed redundant. The fabric is made of mango surplus and spoiled, rotting pieces which are given a second chance. While the exact making process is a secret, the mashed fruits are processed and mixed with the right substances to bind the cellulose fibers to create a uniform, compact surface. Fruitleather is biodegradable and its production is sustainable and uses little water. The project draws attention to the problem of food waste and popularizes the idea of a circular economy.
Malai – coconut water fabric
Malai is a biocomposite material made of completely organic and durable bacterial cellulose, grown from agricultural waste from the coconut industry in South India. Local farmers and processing plants supply coconut water, which is a by-product of coconut pulp extraction and would otherwise be disposed of, causing soil damage. In the production process of Malai, this water is reused to feed the bacteria used to make cellulose. One small coconut processing plant can collect 4,000 liters of water per day, producing 320 square meters of Malai. The material is waterproof, and because it does not contain any artificial “flaws”, it does not cause allergies, intolerances or diseases.
BioVeg - corn leaf fabric
BioVeg is made from the leaves and stems that remain after the corn harvest. Each production stage is characterized by a strong emphasis on the maximum positive impact on society and the environment, therefore the production process is partly based on solar energy and 60% of all waste is processed for energy recovery. BioVeg is a completely vegan material that consists of at least a quarter of biomass, which is confirmed by a certificate awarded by the USDA.
Recycled PET – polyester material derived from recycled PET bottles
This fabric is made by processing the plastic of PET bottles into fibers. No new raw material is needed for its production, properly sorted, washed and dried bottles are used, which then form the yarn in the process of mechanical processing and selection. This, when properly woven, forms the final fabric. The material used in our bags was produced in the Netherlands using solar energy (half of the energy used by the plant comes from solar panels), without the use of harmful coloring substances, with care for employees and with minimal water consumption.
Recycled textile – high-quality recycled fabric
In harmony with the less waste idea, we decided to use second-hand materials in the VIVO collection. High-quality, dense fabrics that can be found in some of our bags delighted us with their vivid colors and noble shine. They all come from a place that no longer had plans for them. Enchanted by the beautiful structure, we decided to give them a second life. Thanks to their presence in the new product line, we did not use new resources, but only those that had already been produced. Now, you can feast your eyes on their contrasting colors!
Press materials beleaf.nk, Ananasanam, Malai