Materials companies Nanollose and von Holzhausen have signed a collaboration agreement to work on sustainable animal-free leather alternatives.
Nanollose is an Australian biomaterials company developing sustainable fabrics, while US-based von Holzhausen produces vegan leather alternatives made from plant-derived and recycled fibres. As part of the collaboration, Nanollose will supply von Holzhausen with samples of treated microbial cellulose, which the latter company will test to determine its viability as a leather alternative. Von Holzhausen may then further process the material to improve its properties, with the ultimate goal of developing a commercially viable fabric.
If the collaboration is successful, it will help Nanollose enter the fast-growing vegan leather sector. According to von Holzhausen, the biodegradable materials it has previously developed perform better than leather while having a much lower carbon footprint.
Biodegradable vegan leather
Until recent years, vegan leather was almost always made with synthetic materials such as polyurethane. But increasing environmental concerns have led companies to explore a range of more sustainable alternatives, from fruit and cacti to mushrooms and plant-based plastic. Nanollose’s microbial cellulose provides another potential solution.
“We’re delighted to be working with von Holzhausen to develop vegan leather,” said Nanollose Executive Chairman Dr. Wayne Best. “Microbial cellulose is not only vegan, but also natural and biodegradable, making it an ideal component for sustainable vegan materials. Nanollose’s expertise in microbial cellulose combined with von Holzhausen’s expertise and track record in developing and commercialising vegan leathers makes this an exciting opportunity.”