100 kilos of vine fruit generates about 25 kilos of grape waste. Of which 50% is grape skin, 25% stems, and the remaining 25% seeds. The recovery of bioactive compounds from grape waste has interesting applications in fields such as food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and other emerging uses.
Grape leather is one of the latest new vegetable leathers that serves as an alternative to conventional leather. Italian company Vegea is at the origin of this practical alternative made from grape skin fiber and grape seeds. With a country that holds 18% of the world's wine production, the company experimented the manufacture of leather from the waste of wine production.
A successful result that, besides being feasible, is strong enough to be used in the world of fashion, furniture, and even car upholstery.
H&M Uses Vegea Wine Leather
The Swedish clothing, cosmetics, and accessories brand Hennes & Mauritz, better known as H&M, announced the creation of Vegea in 2020, an alternative to leather made from wine-making waste.
According to Vogue magazine, the product is the firm's new bet to adapt to the trends that seek to get rid of animal skins. According to the media, the leather substitute is obtained after the transformation of grape pomace, usually wasted or used to prepare distilled beverages. Pascal Brun, Sustainability manager at H&M, said that the use of organic inputs and food waste will be key in the textile sector in the coming years.
The H&M project forms part of the brand’s sustainable proposal of the” Conscious Exclusive” brand. The synthetic leather made from grapes will be used in various garments and bags of the brand. On the other hand, this will not be the only gastronomic element in the initiative, as they plan to use a dye based on the coffee waste that will be used to color some of their creations. There are also pieces made from other recycled products certified by the Global Recycled Standard.
H&M and GoodNews
With the shared goal of promoting a more circular and sustainable fashion industry, taking those same principles beyond apparel to the footwear category, the main novelty of the collection is that it is the most sustainable footwear collection created to date by H&M. Both H&M and companies have accomplished thanks to their firm commitment to the use of sustainable materials.
In the same sense, and as outstanding innovations, the manufacture of the different pieces of footwear in this capsule collection has resorted to the use of materials such as recycled cotton and TENCEL™, a textile fiber made from Lyocell cellulose. As well as the incorporation of two new innovative materials: Bananatex, the world's first durable and waterproof fabric made exclusively from the banana plant; and Vegea’s vegan leather.
In 2021, H&M went a step further in terms of sustainable textile innovation by presenting a collection of sustainable garments made from cactus leather and castor oil threads with the British brand Good News. The collaboration honed in on sustainable footwear, and developed a capsule collection of sneakers for the Swedish fashion chain.