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Allbirds Introduces Shoes Made From Plant-Based Leather to Kick Out Petroleum From the Fashion Industry

San Francisco-based footwear brand Allbirds is about to introduce the first leather alternative made entirely from plant-based ingredients.

They claim that Plant Leather is compostable and has a carbon impact 40 times lower than animal leather. What’s more, it produces 17 times fewer carbon emissions than plastic-based synthetic leather.

Dezeen reports that the material contains natural rubber, as well as vegetable oil, citric acid, and fillers like cork and rice husks. The pigments are all-natural.

"Originally developed by material innovations startup Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) under the name Mirum, the plant-based leather is now set to be turned into footwear that will hit shelves by December 2021. Despite the rising number of leather-like products made from plants, NFW claims that rival materials often required plastic coatings or additives to ensure durability."

The company claims that Mirum is the only plant-based alternative to leather that contains zero petrochemicals.

The new material joins a growing number of innovative plant-based leather replacements like mushroom leather Mylo developed by Adidas and Gucci.

Another similar material, Piñatex, is made from waste pineapple leaves and used in a line of Hugo Boss trainers.

Allbirds claims its Plant Leather is scalable and affordable to mass produce, while many other nature-based types of leather are either too expensive or slow-growing to be mass-produced. 

Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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