Suzanne Lee is a designer from London with a revolutionary product: a durable, bio-degradable, cruelty-free leather substitute.
Naturally, the idea was born from a desire to harmonize human's longstanding lust for leather with a commitment to sustainability. Lee consulted with a biologist to develop her unprecedented method, which involves growing – in the span of just two weeks – a leathery sheet from a brew of bacteria, yeast, sugar, and green tea.
The final product can be shaped, dried, cut and sewn into whatever pattern or outfit desired, and has a life of approximately five years, after which it is easily composted along with other vegetable scraps.
Lee asserts that “The
fashion textile industry is desperately looking to reduce its carbon
footprint and look for materials that are more sustainable...To get it
to where it needs to be involves some cutting-edge science, but with the
right funding in place it has potential to be a radical alternative to
traditional textiles.” She's already fielding multiple offers from
global clothiers interested in collaboration.
Image by Coco Perez TV Video, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.