If you are a subscriber to our news feed, then you may already know about existing and emerging materials in the future materials space. We also featured them on our blog, The Journal, but read on because this one is very different.
What is so special about Leap®?
Leap® is a bio-based alternative to leather that contains around 40% apple waste and has overall approximately 80% bio content in its composition.
In fact, the name Leap® comes from LEftover APples!
The history of Leap®
Beyond Leather is a Danish start-up established in 2017 by Hannah Michaud and Mikael Eydt. They were winners of the Clim@ 2020 competition, an event that rewards innovative projects or businesses that have the power to revolutionize current practises and demonstrate strong positive climate impact. Prior to this, Beyond Leather was a finalist at Creative Business Cup Denmark in 2018 and Scale-Up Denmark in 2019.
Traditional leather and its alternatives make the fashion industry one of the most polluting industries on the planet, whilst causing unnecessary harm to animals, people, and the environment. Beyond Leather has found inspiration in nature to solve not just the leather problem, but another important issue of today’s society: food waste. It is estimated that more than 3 million tonnes of apple waste is produced globally every year. This is a huge untapped resource.
Beyond Leather have developed a five-step process which can be completed in just one day, using just three kilograms of apple pulp to make a square metre of Leap®. The material is made from the skins, cores, stems, and seeds of apples, which are left over after the fruit is juiced. According to Beyond Leather's internal calculations, the process to make Leap® uses 99% less water and emits 85% less CO2 than traditional leather production, without the use of animals or harmful tanning substances.
Co-founder Hannah Michaud states "Roughly 25 per cent of an apple goes to waste after pressing it for juice or cider. We source the apple waste for Leap® from a small Danish juice producer who processes local farmers' apples into beverages and creates 500 to 600 tons of waste every year."
What does the future hold?
Leap® joins a growing number of biomaterials that are being designed to mitigate the environmental impact of animal leather and its plastic alternatives. Beyond Leather and their R&D team plan to continue development and have a fully bio-based material by 2024.
The texture and feel of the material is beautiful and tactile and we cannot wait for this material to go mainstream.