Sign up for 10% welcome discount on your first order*. Free AU/NZ shipping over $249. Free US shipping over AU$300.
Image of moodboards showing handbags and decorative panels in pastel colours, from the Lineapelle trade fair in Milan

I've recently returned from a 25 day inspiration + knowledge seeking trip, covering London, Milan, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid + Porto. 

I don't take the opportunity to travel for granted - and with Australia being so far from Europe + the UK, I ensure I cover as much ground as possible whenever I plan a trip. This particular journey centred around getting to Milan for Lineapelle, Micam + Mipel trade fairs.  The other cities provided inspiration, catchups with friends + associates, along with daily  immersion into the retail scene in each location.  

Image of the entrance to Lineapelle trade fair in Milan.  A large metal grid structure stands overhead and a crowd of people walk underneath toward escalators

I've been attending Lineapelle off + on over the years - most of my visits were in my past professional life, looking at animal hides + talking to tanneries.  Nowadays, my feet are walking the material + accessory halls that cover newgen biobased 'leathers' + a variety of synthetics.  I'm pleased to say there are more + more material suppliers coming to market offering materials for handbags + shoes that are not animal derived.  Be it for environmental or ethical reasons - the environmental tends to resonate more loudly than ethical in my experience - this area of the handbag + shoes space is growing.

Image of trend area at Micam trade fair showing a long bench with multiple swatches in various colours on it, a large mirrored wall stands at the back

While scale continues to challenge biobased material makers, it's encouraging to see with each passing year, more brands embracing these new materials - and thus ensuring longevity for what was once considered a niche outlier in the 'leather' space.  

Excited to hear that Natural Fibre Welding - makers of Mirum amongst other groundbreaking materials - will be moving to meterage versus panel production in 2024.  You can see our Mirum handbag here.  

Image of yellow posters advertising Natural Fibre Welding collection at Lineapelle


Image of Natural Fibre Welding Mirum handbag by Sans Beast alongside a cotton canvas tote sitting on a yellow train seat in Milan

The Desserto team are always a delight to catchup with.  I feel very lucky that I was able to get to their cactus fields within months of them launching their business back in 2020.  Times have changed for the owners, Marte + Adrian, and I couldn't be happier for them as they work with automotive, fashion + interior design industries, bringing their nopal derived materials to the world.  We'll have our much loved Francisco (named after the Mexican ranch owner who oversees the nopal plants) Crossbody returning in January 2024.

An image of Cathryn Wills founder of Sans Beast standing with Adrian Lopez Velarde and Marte Cazarez founders of Desserto, all standing at the Desserto stand at Lineapelle

The team at Mabel have expanded their collection of Uppeal materials that utilise waste from the Italian apple industry.  We've had one collection earlier this year made from the Uppeal Appleskin + for 2024, we have more styles coming through.

 Image of Lineapelle catalogue with Mabel Uppeal colour cards which are swatch cards of the colours various material articles are offered in

A new product shown at the fair was Wastea - a leather-look material that utilises waste from the tea industry.  The handfeel, texture + appearance were encouraging - definitely one to sample + wear test. 

The theme of the show was Metamorphosis.  The trend talk visuals were completely AI + 3D render-centric - everything felt  otherworldly.  Given where the world is at currently, it's not surprising that the fashion industry is suggesting a transformation is required.  

Image of colourful metallic swatches at Micam material and shoe fair in Milan, Italy

The EU will be introducing measures over the next 2 years to curb greenwashing + ensure 'we' (those of us making products) are producing responsible collections.  I'm still learning what the parameters are - I'm not well versed on this front to write with any authority + need to dive into reading more.  I'm very curious to see how animal products are going to be treated within the confines of this Product Passport, given the lobbying that goes on to keep animal products (and the profits they make) firmly in demand.  I can only hope that ethics + wisdom will prevail in the long term.  

Image of a yellow Sans Beast bag + strap sitting on an orange chair at a Milan train station




Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published