Whether you’re looking for a new leather jacket or leather totes for women, a new product could change the leather industry. Modern Meadow, a Brooklyn-based started company, just finished another round of investment funding, reportedly raking in $40 million for the development and production of their biofabricated leather product. According to The Christian Science Monitor, the startup company announced the funding will allow them to move from the research and development phase into full-blown manufacturing.
“Leather, which represents a $100-billion raw material market, has always been prized for its beauty, functionality and enduring status,” said Modern Meadow chief executive officer and co-founder Andras Forgacs in a press release. “At Modern Meadow, we’re re-imagining this millennia-old material to create revolutionary new features without harming animals or the environment.”
The interesting thing about this new form of “fake” leather is that it really isn’t fake at all. On the one hand, the process doesn’t involve skinning or killing of cows, but the product itself is biologically identical to real leather. The company was able to do this by creating collagen proteins from living animal cells and essentialyl manipulating them to keep creating more material.
The end result is a material that can be used to make things like leather totes for women, leather backpacks, womens leather bracelets, and leather satchels for menThe new leather material is already garnering praise from influential members of the animal rights community, namely People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
“Unlike leather, Modern Meadow biofabricated leather doesn’t cause animals any harm,” said Anne Brainard, a senior corporate liason for PETA, in a phone interview with The Christian Science Monitor.
Cowhide usually ranges between 1-ounce and 12-ounce varieties and is one of the thickest leathers. The new leather alternative will be able to be produced in a variety of sizes and thickness, depending on what the consumer wants. So something like a leather jacket might be thicker than leather totes for women.
Not only can this new material be a game-changer in the animal rights world, but it can also have a positive impact on environmental concerns associated with the traditional industry.
“We’re not about eliminating anybody,” Forgacs said. “We’re about creating a new material capability that is exciting to the leather goods industry and is exciting to consumers. It offers them a choice and takes some of the pressure off the current livestock industry.”