Kerala-Based Startup Converts Coconut Water Into Vegan Leather
Malai Biomaterials is a Kerala based startup, which is an alternative that feels and looks exactly like leather
Leather industry is a living example of cruelty against animals, nonetheless leather is highly used in a range of products especially in fashion industry. No matter how much the leather industry claims to be ecofriendly, it leaves a huge ecological impact. It uses and produces chemicals which are toxic to the environment.
Vegan leather has come up as an innovative substitute for leather with significantly lower footprint. Kerala-based startup Malai Biomaterials offers one such alternative that looks and feels like real leather and is made using coconut water. The idea of turning coconut water into vegan leather is a brilliant innovation.
Coconut water is sourced from a coconut processing unit in South India, which goes through sterilization and afterward, the coconut water is fed to a particular type of bacteria. The fermentation results in the conversion of the sugar extract into cellulose sheet jelly, which is later reinforced with natural fibers.
The startup was co-founded by Susmith C Suseelan and Slovakia’s Zuzana Gombosava in 2018. Suseelan mentions;
We want to have a sustainable material that can replace leather in all its applications. Grown materials are primarily of interest to us, as a company, we will be developing other bio-based materials to replace the unsustainable ones.
The organization is presently working with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad in order to improve the material and has received a PETA-approved label. The startup of converting coconut water into vegan leather has proved out to be a great alternative for leather so far, and soon the owners plan expand their venture even further.
Via: The Better India