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Allbirds unveils world's first 100% natural plant-based leather alternative

Tom Shearsmith
25 February 2021

San Francisco based footwear and apparel company, Allbirds, has unveiled Plant Leather – the world’s first 100% natural plant-based leather alternative.

The leather alternative is made with vegetable oil, natural rubber and other bio-ingredients and is a fully biodegradable 100% natural material, making it the most sustainable and scalable leather alternative.

The product is the direct result of $2 million investment in material innovation company Natural Fiber Welding Inc. and its Mirum technology. 

The benefits to the industry and the planet are wide-ranging, including 40 times less carbon impact than leather and 17 times less carbon than synthetic leather made from plastic.

Allbirds Plant Leather

Allbirds will use the material as part of a major commercial footwear product launch in December 2021, and will add Plant Leather to its suite of open-source eco-materials, demonstrating how climate-conscious businesses can thrive while prioritising collaboration over competition, and ultimately accelerating the demand for green technology.

Joey Zwillinger Co-Founder and CEO of Allbirds told TheIndustry.fashion: "For too long, fashion companies have relied on dirty synthetics and unsustainable leather, prioritising speed and cost over the environment.

"Natural Fiber Welding is creating scalable, sustainable antidotes to leather, and doing so with the potential for a game-changing 98% reduction in carbon emissions. Our partnership with NFW and planned introduction of Plant Leather based on their technology is an exciting step on our journey to eradicate petroleum from the fashion industry."

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