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Sans Beast Transit Mini Appleskin™ Leather Bags

Bio-Based Vegan 'Leather' Bags

Most of our collection is made from recycled synthetic fabrics, and we also have a small but growing cohort of styles made from bio-based materials.

Beyond well-recognised fabrics like cotton, our bio-based collection includes some exciting new-gen materials: Italian Uppeal AppleSkin™, Desserto Cactus 'Leather', and MIRUM®.

Bio-based materials are those derived from plants + other renewable agricultural materials. This can be the entire material when developing a vegan leather or a portion of it.

Why Use Bio-Based Materials?

We start from a premise of not using any animal products in our collections. From there, we aim to reduce our use of synthetic materials by preferencing recycled or bio-based fabrics.

Uppeal AppleSkin™, MIRUM® and Desserto's organic cactus leather alternative all beautifully emulate the look + feel of animal leather with a far lower environmental impact + none of the cruelty.

What Are Bio-based Materials Made from?

Over the past 5 years, the pace of material development has been dramatic – biomass from cactus, mango, apple, mycelium, grape, orange, corn, banana leaves + bamboo have been utilised to create fabrics designed to take on the animal leather fashion market.

We currently use three bio-based vegan 'leather' fabrics in our collection:

Italian Uppeal AppleSkin™ is made from 25% apple waste, with polyurethane added to ensure the product is robust + waterproof.

MIRUM® is made with natural nutrient + bioneutral ingredients, such as natural rubber, plant-based oils, natural pigments, and agri-waste like rice hulls and coconut fibres. It has a 10x lower carbon footprint than animal leather.

Desserto organic cactus fabric utilises the dried leaves of cactus as the key building block for adding to a fabric base. The biomass (dried/ground cactus) is mixed with a water-based polyurethane + pigments to form the surface treatment for the substrate fabric, often being cotton or cotton/polyester.

Why aren't all our bags bio-based?

New gen bio-based materials are still in their relative infancy, with time + support needed for them to grow and scale. This means they are a higher cost - to business and therefore to the customer - and have a smaller range of colours + textures than existing synthetic fabrics.


Organisations developing these kinds of materials are pioneers. It will take time for barriers to entry to lower so they can be used by more + more brands, and get into the hands of more people.

We are committed to growing our bio-based offering + continue to explore new fabrications and innovations.

Want to know more?

Head to the Creative Journal for more on a materials revolution.

THE MAKING OF APPLESKIN™

Waste from the production of apple juice + jams is recovered, and instead of the usual disposal - by burning to ashes or depositing in landfill - these apple materials are dried, ground + turned into a powder which is laid out + sealed with a resin to create a durable leather alternative.

A MATERIAL WORLD

Take a glimpse into our founder's trip to Europe in September 2023 - with a particular focus on the Lineapelle material fair in Milan, Italy.  Material is at the core of our ethos - specifically choosing not to work with animal hides - and sourcing innovative alternatives to leather provides both inspiration and education. The vegan fashion space has come a long way in the past decade + the future looks even brighter.

THE JOURNEY TO DESSERTO

There's much that goes into developing bio-based fabrics as viable alternatives to leather + then getting them into production, and our founder, Cathryn, has nurtured a relationship with the innovative team at Desserto since 2019. Our Francisco handbag made from Desserto's organic cactus 'leather' has returned in our latest collection, so it's timely to revisit her Mexico travel log, written while the world was shut down.