Furthermore, animal agriculture, the primary source of leather, is a major contributor to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, the ethical implications of animal agriculture have also come under scrutiny as animal rights continue to gain prominence. In response to these concerns, leather alternatives have been thriving in recent years.
Often viewed as greenwashed plastic imitations that cannot match the durability of natural leather, developments in product design and material innovation have long outgrown their questionable origins. Leather alternatives are ready to take up their spot in the material universe and transcend their predecessors. Their impact will surely be felt in trades that rely on large quantities of leather such as the furniture, automotive, and fashion industry.
An intriguing example of sustainable leather alternatives is the Muskin Mushroom leather from Life Materials. This soft, suede-like material is made from Phellinus ellipsoideus, a parasitic fungus that grows on trees in subtropical forests. It boasts the added benefits of being free of toxic substances while being highly breathable, making it suitable for clothing and seating applications that come into close contact with the user's skin. Another innovative and eco-friendly alternative to traditional leather is Leap™ Apple Leather from Beyond Leather Materials ApS. Comprised primarily of apple waste, this material is made up of 80% bio-based ingredients and has a unique three-layered design that allows it to be disassembled at the end of its life, making it both a circular and sustainable option.
In addition to the Antique synthetic leather, Mah-ATN GmbH also offers Synthetic Leather Croco, Python, and Snake. These materials are inspired by the namesake animals and offer a similar look and feel to their skins. The material impresses with its embossed surface, multicolour printing, and equal hygienic properties as the aforementioned material. These are excellent alternatives to natural leathers, especially since they don't exploit exotic, and often endangered animal skins. Ethical objections against natural leather really hit a chord when it comes down to the use of exotic animals, and this range offers an impressive solution.
Longevity aside, natural leather's luxurious look has been one of its main appeals. From an aesthetic point of view, this can be an opportunity for leather alternatives. Beyond imitating natural leathers, they could rise to them due to a bigger freedom of choice in terms of colour,texture and finishings. Imagine leather alternatives that are derived from imaginary animals that are more beautiful, more refined, and more endearing than what we know thus far.
A third alternative to natural leather is Cork Leather from Mah-ATN GmbH. Made from the bark of oak trees, which doesn't require cutting down the tree, cork is a renewable resource that offers excellent insulation properties. The cork is bonded to a carrier base, resulting in a material with a warm look and feel that can be easily processed for various applications.
A more traditional leather alternative can be found in the Synthetic Leather Antique from Mah-ATNGmbH. This material boasts an aged appearance, a durable structure, and exceptional hygiene properties. It is naturally water-resistant and can be used for various types of covers and applications in residential and commercial sectors. Antique synthetic leather is a great alternative to traditional leathers and offers the same aesthetic appeal and durability without the environmental concerns associated with animal-based leathers.
Muskin Mushroom leather - Life Materials
Leap™ Apple Leather - Beyond Leather Materials
Cork Leather - Mah-ATN
Synthetic Leather Antique - Mah-ATN
Synthetic Leather Croco - Mah-ATN
Synthetic Leather Python - Mah-ATN
Synthetic Leather Snake - Mah-ATN