Leather alternative uses algae and food waste

September 12, 2022 |

In India, a leather alternative made from algae and food and fiber waste has won the runner-up James Dyson Award for India, having been narrowly squeezed out of the top spot by a reusable EpiPen. 

Dubbed Kudarat, the animal-free leather is waterproof, compostable, and antimicrobial.  It was created by textile designer Divya Verma of the National Institute of Design in India after she began home composting. “While researching [compost’s] nutrient values, I learned how food waste ends up in landfills, rots & releases harmful greenhouse gases such as methane contributing to global warming,” she tells Yanko Design. “Similarly, fiber waste from the textile industries pollutes water bodies, enters our food chain, and harms life on land and underwater to a large extent. This motivated me to come up with a new material that utilizes renewable natural resources and helps in waste management.”

Kudarat uses natural binders, biopolymers from algae, and natural waterproofing agents. Food and flower waste are used as dyes. The material lasts as long as animal leather but biodegrades in 3 months if left in the environment. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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