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Cruelty-free fashion: Growing leather without animals

The success of cultured leather could open the door to a whole new world of lab-made products, ultimately reducing our reliance on livestock, the suffering of animals and the impact on the planet.

Editor The ARK Center

LUCY GOODCHILD VAN HILTEN: ‘A warehouse filled with huge gleaming silver vats hums around the clock, as billions of yeast cells work to make a material we can wear, sit on and carry around. In an adjoining room, rows of benches hold molds of different shapes and sizes, where sheets of cellulose layer up and become recognizable. In the next room, the material is finished and packaged, destined for designers, tailors and upholsterers.

This is the scene of a biofabrication plant, producing leather without the animals. A futuristic ideal? Companies like Modern Meadow don’t think so. As the firm’s CEO Andras Forgacs, a biofabrication pioneer, said during his 2013 TED talk: “Perhaps biofabrication is a natural evolution of manufacturing for mankind. It’s environmentally responsible, efficient and humane. It allows us to be creative: We can design new materials, new products and new facilities.”

The company is gearing up to launch its first products in a year or so, after successfully debuting a cultured leather T-shirt last year. Modern Meadow’s staff of 80 is working away at a production plant in Nutley, New Jersey, getting ready to revolutionize fashion and the materials industry — and change the way we think about animal products… The success of cultured leather could open the door to a whole new world of lab-made products, ultimately reducing our reliance on livestock, the suffering of animals and the impact on the planet’. SOURCE…

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