Denmark’s Beyond Leather converts apple waste to vegan leather

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

Denmark-based Beyond Leather has created Leap, a plant-based leather alternative made from apple waste.

According to the company, manufacturing the animal hide substitute emits 85-per-cent less than traditional leather and requires only 1 per cent the amount of water. 

The faux leather is made from the skins, cores, stems, and seeds of leftover apples after the fruit is juiced.

Afterwards, the upcycled apple waste is combined with natural rubber and applied to a textile backing made of wood pulp and cotton before laminating it with plastic. The result is a three-layered material that can be disassembled and re-used at the end of its product life cycle. 

“Roughly 25 per cent of an apple goes to waste after pressing it for juice or cider,” Beyond Leather co-founder Hannah Michaud told Dezeen.

“Apple waste has a very high content of short fibres and polymers that, if used in the right way, can be activated to give the necessary strength and stiffness to the final material,” she added.

Leap still uses traditional petroleum-based polyurethane to make sure the product withstand wear and tear. 

However, the company hopes to change all that and make its product 100-per-cent bio-based by 2024.

“We aim to replace the current coating in a way that can still deliver the desired qualities without the use of fossil fuel-derived plastic, based on the company’s philosophy of using waste as a core ingredient,” Michaud explained. 

Leap joins the growing list of companies switching to biomaterials to lessen the environmental impact of animal leather and plastic. For example, Nike recently released trainers made from pineapple leaves, and Casetify recently launched its 100 per cent compostable phone cases.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.



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