Leather is a durable and flexible material made of animal skin and used to create various goods, like shoes. However, its fabrication presents several environmental issues, mostly due to the use of chemicals, the high water consumption, and the generation of waste. With the growth of the sustainable clothing market, companies look for ways to substitute leather for a material with lower environmental impact, while keeping its quality and physical properties.
Innovation: CTCR, EARTO member through Fedit, studies the use of biomaterials for textile production. The studies confirmed that the cellulose produced by bacteria has better properties than the cellulose from plants, and that it could be used as a substitute for leather. In the next years it is expected that the properties of the biomaterial will be enhanced to obtain better results and to be a competitive material against leather.
Impact Expected: This biomaterial will enable the elimination of leather in the manufacture of footwear and its inherent environmental damage. This will result in an environment-friendly, sustainable and renewable bio-material with better physical properties than those of traditional materials. Final prototypes to test the new material in final products are expected in the next 5 years, with important potential to introduce this biomaterial in the market, with accessible production costs.