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The 5 Eco Leather and Fabric Alternatives You Didn't Know Existed

May 27, 2021
Carla Lin

The 5 Eco Leather Alternatives You Didn't Know Existed

More and more eco-leather alternatives are cropping up and they keep getting more inventive. From cactus fibres to citrus byproduct - we’re here for it! Anything that is helping to reduce the harming of animals and the environment is something to be shouted about. 

Did you know that approximately 160 litres of water and 8 kg of CO2 are used to produce 1 kg of leather, which generates 5 kg of organic waste. 

Fabric made by Orange Fiber

Orange Skin

Orange Fiber (@orangefiberbrand) is the Italian brand behind new types of sustainable and innovative fabrics for fashion made from citrus juice by-products. They say that over ‘700,000 tonnes of citrus byproduct are produced every year just in Italy’! The orange fiber can be intertwined to make may types of fabric.

The patented process has been recognised globally and Orange Fiber has collaborated with big fashion brands such as H&M and Salvatore Ferragamo to create sustainable collections. 

Mylo Unleather samples in black and yellow


Another leather alternative is Mylo’s Unleather. This is eco-alternative is made from mycelium, the root of funghi. Mylo's Unleather is used by used by Stella McCartney, a leader in sustainable fashion, Lululemon, and Adidas.

The mycelium used to make Mylo is grown from mulch, air, and water in just a few short weeks, versus the land and other significant resources it takes to raise cattle over the course of years. It is also certified bio-based, which means it’s made predominantly from renewable ingredients found in nature today. Whilst the process involves intense innovation, producing Mylo consumes significantly less land and emits fewer greenhouse gases than raising livestock. 

Eco AppleSkin leather bag on LUXTRA London

Fruitwaste / Apple Skin

AppleSkin™ is the name of another bio-based leather alternative made and patented by FRUMAT. It is an innovative new material that is made with waste recovered from the fruit juice industry. Made in Italy from apples grown in Bolzano, a city in the north of the country, the material is approximately 20-30% apple. It is vegan and cruelty-free. 

A mushy pulp (made up of cellulose fibres) is left over as a result of juicing apples on an industrial scale. The AppleSkin material is produced by recovering this waste product, that would otherwise be discarded, and transforming it into the final material. 

Less food waste and no animals harmed in the process!

Desserto Cactus bag in green


The Karl Lagerfeld x Amber Valletta debut collection highlights cactus leather. The main producer of cactus leather is Desserto, attractive due to its water resistance, durability, and sustainable process. 

Did you know that it only takes approximately 3 leaves of cactus to create one linear meter of Desserto leather. Also, it only takes 200 litres to grow one kilogram of cactus which water is absorbed by the plant itself from humidity present in the atmosphere - that’s 800 litres less than other traditional crops, and a thousands less than producing real animal leather. 

Pinatex swatches from Ananas Anam


London based Bcorp, Ananas Anam was launched in 2013 and has since supplied brands, including Hugo Boss, with Pinatex. Pinatex is an innovative natural textile made from waste pineapple leaf fibre, it is sustainably-sourced and cruelty free! The leaves are the byproduct of existing agriculture, and collecting the leaves creates an additional income stream for farming communities.

Did you know that when producing Pinatex, 264 tonnes of CO2 are saved by not burning 825 tonnes of waste leaves from the pineapple harvest. 

Talking about saving water and CO2...

One of our primary missions at Oxwash is to reduce water consumption and CO2, both in our process and spreading awareness to reach and impact households. At Oxwash, we save 6,700kg of CO2 per e-cargo bike per year compared to vans used by traditional laundries and 32 litres per standard 8kg wash from rinse water recovery and recycling.

Find out more about us here or try Oxwash out now!

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Together we can wash our way to a cleaner, eco-friendly future.