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The Financial Times

Could you quit leather?

The industry banned fur. Animal hides are now facing the same scrutiny. But what are the alternatives, and are they any good?

When Kering, the French luxury conglomerate behind Gucci and Saint Laurent, vowed in late 2021 that it would go fur-free, following similar pledges by dozens of other brands, industry watchers naturally speculated: could leather be next? The idea gained momentum the following month when Ganni, the Scandinavian clothing label owned by the LVMH-backed private equity firm L Catterton, promised it would phase out virgin leather by 2023 because it was standing in the way of reaching sustainability targets. Leather goods accounted for about 20 per cent of the brand’s sales but the majority of its greenhouse gas emissions, its founders said.

There is a clear appetite for materials that behave like leather but don’t use plastic – or at least use less of it. Hermès announced in 2021 that it was developing a mycelium version of its Victoria bag with California-based MycoWorks.

Read the full article by Lauren Indvik in The Financial Times here.