Headquarters: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phase: Currrently looking for a commercial partner to support formula optimization and production.
Natalia Pérez founded Proyecto Menos es Más - Estudio de Diseño (Project Less is More Design Studio) in 2010 to focus on sustainable design, art, and architecture. After participating in a workshop on using bamboo in 2012, Pérez began a partnership with the Argentinian National Institute of Industrial Technology to develop a bamboo-based material in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. After 4 years of research and development, she developed a version with the properties she was looking for. Collaboration with Nicolás Cludius on formula refinement and commercialization led to the creation of Bambuflex, a leather alternative with a suede-like texture.
According to company information, Bambuflex is a plant-based, nontoxic, and biodegradable leather alternative material designed to be used in fashion and accessories, as well as furniture and interior panels. Bambuflex is flexible and can be cut with basic hand saws. Using plant-based pigments, it can be dyed in vibrant colors.
There is little information available on the process used to create Bambuflex. Company materials suggest that bamboo is harvested by hand, chopped or shredded and pressed into layers. It is unclear what is used as a binding agent. We will update this report after an interview with the company.
Using bamboo as the primary input, Bambuflex is likely to be more sustainable than bovine leather. Because bamboo is a grass, it can be harvested regularly without killing the plant. Bamboo also grows readily in uneven climate conditions. Without a coating, Bambuflex is biodegradable.
MII has not yet evaluated samples, but this material is likely not as durable as other alternatives.
Images from Bambuflex