INNOVATOR PROFILE

LE QARA

COMPANY INFORMATION

Founded: 2017

Headquarters: Arequipa, Peru

Website: https://leqara.com/

Phase: Pilot

COMPANY HISTORY

Le Qara, “leather” in Quechua, an indigenous Andean language, was founded in 2017 by sisters Jacqueline and Isemar Cruz. They won the H&M Foundation’s 2019 Global Change Award for their bioleather. In May 2020, the company was a finalist in the launch category of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Le Qara has filed for patents for its bioleather process and expects to achieve industrial scale production in mid 2022.

MATERIAL

Le Qara is a leather-like biotextile made via microbial cultivation.

TECHNOLOGY

Production process: Microbial Cultivation

Although the company does not reveal specifics about the technology used to make Le Qara, it is made by a biotechnological process where microorganisms are fed with organic residues and produce a biopolymer. Local waste is used as the growth medium and the process takes less than a month. According to the company, Le Qara bioleather can be engineered to have various textures, thicknesses, and levels of flexibility. The company describes their material as high quality, high resistance, and breathable.

SUSTAINABILITY

According to the company, Le Qara is biodegradable and its production uses far less land and water than bovine leather. In addition, post-production waste can be used as liquid compost. 

SENSORY/TACTILE

The prototype Le Qara handbag is said to look and feel like leather. Its durability is unknown at this time. MII will update this profile after more information becomes available.

CURRENT APPLICATIONS

ACCESSORIES

Prototype Le Qara handbag

Images from Le Qara.

Get the Report

Contact MII at info@materialinnovation.org to purchase a full report on Le Qara.

STAY UP TO DATE

Sign up to keep updated on MII and industry news!

FOLLOW US

  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon

Powered by philanthropy, MII is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Tax ID 84-3847333.

© 2019 Material Innovation Initiative