These are textile alternatives to leather and cotton

Did you know?

The fashion industry is responsible for 20% of the world’s waste water, and 10% of carbon emissions.

Cotton makes up for 40% of the world’s clothing but is very resource-intensive with about 15,000 litres of water required to make one pair of jeans.

Leather is a by-product of the meat industry. Large amounts of water and chemicals are needed, and current alternatives, like polyurethane, are petroleum-based.

The good news is that new textiles made from bio materials are getting more and more attention from designers.

What alternatives to leather?

Piñatex is a leather-like substance made from discarded pineapple leaves, which has been used in collections by Hugo Boss and H&M.

Mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms, is being used to create food, packaging and textiles. As mushrooms don’t need much looking after, the material can be grown into a fixed shape within a few days.

What alternatives to cotton?

Tencel, also known as Lyocell is made by extracting cellulose fibre from trees and its manufacture is thought to use 95% less water than cotton processing.