Innovation @ E2Expo

Apple industry waste for sustainable leather alternatives

Updated : December 2020

Stakeholders

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Financial investors
  • Marketing or sales professionals
  • Researchers or innovators
  • Textile and fashion designers
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals

Apple waste for leather

Frumat uses apples to create a bio-based leather alternative called AppleSkin. Apple pectin is an industrial waste product from the juice industry, that can be used to create sustainable materials that are totally compostable whilst still being durable enough to create luxury accessories. These products are dyed naturally and tanned without chemically intensive techniques. The material contains a minimum of 50% apple fiber.  It is vegan and cruelty-free.

 

Read more: Apple Skin

Topics

Sustainable leather alternative

Upcycling of food industry waste

Apple fibers

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  1. Apple Skin

Company/Organization

Frumat - Apple Skin

Geography

| Italy

Year Established

2015

Highlights and sustainability benefits

The product is fully compostable and the process uses natural dyes and chemicals, thus making the entire product life cycle safe to the environment.

Recognition

Frumat was the winner of 2019 -Technology and Innovation Award at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards in Milan.

About the Work

The company has two lines of production. Frumat Apple Skin is currently being used in the fashion and furnishing industry due to the product’s ability to be worked into different textures. The softer fibre is ideal for textiles with a direct application in the clothing and apparel industry. The sturdier, thicker version PU leather alternative, made of 50% recycled apple fibre and 50% polyurethane (hence the name PU), is currently being used for shoes and luggage articles as well as furnishing and upholstery.

About the Innovator

Frumat is based out of Bolzano, Italy which is near Tyrol, one of the world’s largest apple-producing regions and is faced with a significant amount of food-production waste. The founder Hannes Parth, then came up with the idea of using the waste apples are raw materials for fabrics, which led to the formation of Frumat. The company founder then developed Pellemela, a leather substitute made of 50% recycled apple fiber and 50% polyurethane.


Discussion topics

Potential of fruit industry waste for making leather

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Durability and degradability of fabrics / fibres based on fruit waste

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I guess this depends on whether the fruit waste is starch or cellulose. While both are biodegradable, starch based fabrics could have challenges with durability. (Cotton is cellulose, by the way, so we all have proof of durability of at least some types of cellulose fibers)

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