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Sustainable fashion starts with the selection of environmentally friendly raw materials. When it comes to leather goods, ethically-minded consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the not-so-friendly methods behind the creation of such pieces. Today, Staiy introduces one of the most sustainable alternatives to leather – Apple Skin™.

Words By Daria Müller Velasquez

December, 18th 2020

What is Apple Skin vegan leather?

Apple Skin is a sustainable alternative to real leather Made in Italy from fruits, in particular, from the skin and core waste of the food industry. Formed by regenerating discarded fruit fiber into a durable material, Apple Skin retains the classic aesthetic of natural leather, offering a standout addition to the modern collection of eco-friendly materials. 

Who invented it?

This innovative technology belongs to FRUMAT, an Italian company founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Hannes Parth. Born in Trentino-Alto Adige, the northern region of Italy widely known for its apple production, FRUMAT was developed in response to the local issue of apple-waste and the increasing demand for ecological alternatives to leather. The resulting cellulose-based material features a variety of textures, thicknesses, embossing, and laser prints. Versatile, customizable and easily produced, Apple Skin is used throughout the industry.

How is it produced?

The concept of this material arose from a simple observation: when apple juice is made, the remaining pulp is often just thrown away. To make an eco-friendly alternative to leather, waste from apples cultivated in Italy is dried and crushed into a fine powder. The powder is then mixed with pigments and a binder, and spread over a canvas until it solidifies into a skin-like material. For their innovative, patented textile technology, FRUMAT was awarded the prestigious Green Carpet Fashion Award in Milan in 2018. All of FRUMAT’s products are vegan and PETA-approved.

How is it used?

Apple Skin is widely used in apparel, footwear and luggage, as well as in accessories for furniture due to its ability to create different textures. The softer fiber is ideal for textiles directly used in the apparel industry. Sustainable brands such as Happy Genie, Verrah, Womsh and Luxtra London actively use this adaptable material for creating highly durable and eco-friendly vegan leather garments.


Why Apple Skin?

There are many benefits to using Apple Skin instead of real leather. First of all, Apple Skin is an attractive, diverse and highly efficient recyclable material. Secondly, Apple Skin is 100% cruelty-free and has minimal impact on the environment. Beyond this, vegan leather tanning uses far fewer toxic chemicals in its process than in methods used for conventional leather, resulting in less pollution overall.