Materials Master: Wolf & Badger Vegan Alternative Brand Of The Year 2021

by Wolf & Badger

Here we recognise brands making an effort to swap animal derived materials for plant-based and vegan alternatives.

Alkeme Atelier produces handbags with sustainable, plant-based textiles. The exterior is either vegan leather, composed of mainly recycled fabrics, or a plant-based material, such as pineapple leather, grape leather or cactus leather. Utilizing material such as Pinatex not only helps the brand to support local farming communities, but also reduces the amount of natural resources needed to manufacture their products. Along with the exterior of their bags, the interior is also constructed with an eco-friendly textile.

Canussa showcases a long lasting and real commitment towards a circular future.The brand pivoted from using chrome-free leather to vegan leather and now don’t use any fabrics that come from animals. Their current choice of vegan leather is OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 certified microfiber that is washable, light, ecological and highly resistant, even against chemical agents. The brand also use SEAQUAL® YARN - a high-quality, recycled polyester yarn made from recycled materials, including post-consumer plastic bottles and plastic captured from the sea. For each Canussa bag, up to 10 plastic bottles have been transformed into textiles, lessening their damage on our oceans. 

BEGO is an accessories brand making shoes from natural leathers that don’t require heavy chemical processes such as pineapple leather and grape. Created by Audrée Lacombe-Pruneau, alongside her loving partner, the brand rejects the mass consumption of fast fashion and instead combines a love for fashion and a desire to make a positive impact. All their soles are made from recycled rubber. 

Matergea is a Colombian slow fashion brand that works closely with local artisans to create womenswear and accessories made from vegan sustainable alternatives to leather. The brand incorporate cactus leather and fabrics made from recycled cotton and PET bottles into their products. They also use fabrics that are environmentally friendly made from textile waste as raw materials, preventing them from going to landfills or incineration.

The Morphbag by GSK is partnered with the Conscious Fashion Campaign and dedicated to preserving life on earth through the use of recycled PU leather that has been PETA certified vegan. Each bag is crafted from luxury recycled polyurethane (Global Recycled Standard Certified), alongside the lining in the cross-body bag being made from recycled water bottles.

Founded by Zeynep Akman in 2017, Mianqa began creating bags using leather offcuts, initially designing with clever pattern shapes to be a zero-waste brand. Using innovative triangle and hexagon shaped pattern pieces allowed the brand to reuse the leather cut-offs that would be otherwise waste. The resulting work was a strong, durable and beautiful panel that soon became Mianqa's signature look. Since then, the brand has since pivoted to creating collections with entirely plant-based sustainable materials such as cactus leather and apple leather.

PETA-approved vegan silk brand niLuu uses Cupro, a yarn derived from cotton harvest by-product. No silkworms are killed, and no animal proteins are used in the production process, resulting in a sustainable, biodegradable, 100% vegan, fabric that breathes like cotton, drapes beautifully and looks and feels like silk. Traditional silk production can use up to 1,000 silkworms to produce enough yarn for a single pillowcase. 

Fellow B-Corporation certified Unbelts incorporate an extra-tough elastic made from recycled water bottles into their Intrepid collection. Their classic belt collection is also vegan and made using recycled polyester made from reclaimed PET beverage bottles. Through the brands mask program, they also diverted over 14,000 metres of overstock polyester and organic cotton from landfills. 


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