Vegan accessory brand Matt + Nat recently launched its first handbag collection featuring a new bio-based vegan leather made from the waste recovered from the fruit juice industry. “After an abundance of research, sweat, and tears, it’s finally here … The collection of all collections … One that is like no other and will blow your mind,” Matt + Nat President and CEO Manny Kohli posted on Instagram. “Discover a collection that pushes all boundaries and takes ‘an apple a day’ to a whole other level.”
The vegan leather, called AppleSkin, is an innovative material patented by Italy-based company Frumat. Made in Italy from apples grown in Bolzano, a city in the country’s northern region, AppleSkin is produced by recovering the mushy pulp—made up of cellulose fibers from the skin and core—leftover from juicing apples on an industrial scale, which would otherwise be discarded.
Though the precise process of making AppleSkin is a trade secret, we do know that the cellulose is made into a powder and used to reduce the amount of virgin materials required to create the vegan leather. The resulting AppleSkin is approximately 20 to 30 percent apple. Fewer virgin materials means fewer natural resources are extracted from the planet, and lower emissions and energy consumption across the entire supply chain.
Matt + Nat partnered with Frumat to create its new Studio 901 collection which features handbags with an AppleSkin outer body and—as with all Matt + Nat bags—interior linings made from 100-percent recycled water bottles. The collection features 12 handbags, including a backpack, mini satchel, bucket bag, and tote bag in black, brown, and green hues and gold detailing such as chain shoulder straps and V closures.
Vegan apple leather makes fashion, furniture, and cars more sustainable
In recent years, more and more fashion and furniture brands are upping their sustainability efforts by making products using textiles from upcycled or recycled plants and materials. While companies are using plant-based options using cactus, pineapple, and mushrooms, apple-based vegan leather is a versatile material that has been used in a number of industries.
Last year, Canadian furniture designer Gus* Modern featured couches and lounge chairs made with innovative vegan AppleSkin in its Fall 2020 collection. “This new bio-based material saves apple peels and cores from going to landfills and is a harmonious addition to our other eco-friendly options [such as] Forest Stewardship Council-Certified wood and cushion fill made from recycled plastic bottles,” Anthony Santino, Vice President of Sales at Gus* Design Group, said in a statement.
That same year, actress and vegan activist Pamela Anderson partnered with French fashion brand Ashoka Paris to release a line of handbags made from AppleSkin in a variety of colors and styles. The collection was conceived by Anderson and designer David Mateo over a period of 16 months, and each bag is embossed with a message that reads, “Resiste! (Resist). Inside every beautiful person is an activist wanting to defend the planet.”
Additionally, in 2019, German automobile company Volkswagen announced an electric SUV concept car featuring a 100-percent vegan leather interior made from apples. The full-size, zero-emission ID Roomzz, which was expected to be sold in China, was first unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show.
For more about sustainable fashion, read:
Louis Vuitton’s First Sustainable Shoe Is Made With Vegan Corn Leather
Vegan Mushroom Leather Handbag Hits the Runway For the First Time
Old Navy Is Making Plant-Based Sandals From Sugarcane