Can Vegan Leather Come from Corn?
Recently, the growing awareness of the environmental impact of the production of real leather is causing a major revolution in the fashion industry. The market for cruelty-free alternatives is growing rapidly, offering designers environmentally friendly fabrics with low impact on both animals and the environment. Whether it’s synthetic or completely vegan leather, many brands are facing new leather scenarios, using much more sustainable alternatives that come from nature itself. Thanks to the use of innovative processing techniques, the environmental impact of the process is reduced and the finished product is given important characteristics in terms of durability and comfort.
A sustainable alternative to leather: what’s vegan leather?
Whether synthetic or completely vegan leather, when it comes to vegan leather we are talking about a fabric that has a significantly less impact on the environment compared to real animal-based leather. But what exactly is vegan leather?
The growing awareness about animal welfare is driving consumers towards animal-free products that respect both animal rights and the environment. With regard to the leather goods world, vegan leather is what they are looking for. From synthetic to natural fabrics crafted from the waste of fruit, there are now more options than ever to avoid using real leather and make a more environmentally friendly and ethical choice.
Vegan leather is produced with completely different industrial processes to real leather. Historically, the most common materials used to create synthetic leather were polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic-based materials. But things are now changing towards a completely plant-based fabric. Thus, it would be wrong to say that vegan leather is “just plastic” as thanks to the recent innovations in the fashion industry we can now produce vegan leather from apple, corn, cactus, mushroom, and many other sustainable materials.
Where does vegan leather come from?
Until recently, vegan leather was mostly made out of plastic-based materials such as PU or PVC. However, thanks to the considerable progress that has been made in the vegan leather industry there are now hundreds of ways to create fabrics similar to real leather with a substantially lower impact on the environment.
We are talking about fabrics that are made from natural raw materials such as wood, cereals, corn and organic cotton, in industrial plants equipped with water purification plants and fed with green energy. Unlike fossil-derived synthetic leather, these fabrics do not involve any plastic components and are derived from raw materials of plant origin. Let’s see some examples of what vegan leather is made of:
- Cactus leaves
- Apple and apricot peel
BioVeg: the vegan leather from corn
Amongst the sustainable materials from which it is possible to create vegan leather, we at Coronet have chosen corn to give birth to our BioVeg line.
BioVeg is our flagship product in terms of environmental impact and perfectly represents how the market for alternative materials is much more sustainable compared to that of natural leather. The BioVeg family products differ from fossil fuel alternatives for their bio content, derived from plant-based resources. Indeed, BioVeg is made from non-food corn.
Once the corn has been collected, it is processed to separate starch and sugars from the fibre. At the end of the treatment, every single grain will have been treated and processed into bio-based polyols, microparticles essential for the production of bio-based polyurethane, an ecological and performing material with technical characteristics similar to those of the most polluting brother.
Coronet has always been at the forefront in the search for the perfect combination of technical performance, aesthetic appearance, and sustainability. The BioVeg line represents the embodiment of this concept. The production technology specifically developed for its products uses bio-derived raw materials that radically reduce the environmental impact compared to traditional raw materials. The most interesting thing is that the synthesis process consumes more CO2 than the amount it produces, thus generating a ‘sequestration’ of carbon dioxide.
The future of leather
Every day more and more people are approaching a healthy but above all ethical lifestyle. The fashion industry certainly cannot avoid this innovative and eco-sustainable process. Things are finally changing thanks to a new ethical code and a growing interest in making informed purchases.
Coronet has been very farsighted in this field. Intensive farming, high production of CO2, and global warming are important issues, but it is not enough to talk about it: practical actions are those that make the difference.
At Coronet, we are making our contribution by saving energy in respect for animals, water and air while not renouncing to produce. The concept of eco-sustainability is pervasive in every aspect of our production process: from product development to the organizational aspects in regards to production and internal procedures, intending to obtain the maximum positive impact on society and the environment.