Malai, MII Next-gen Materials, Next-gen Leather, Alternative Leather, Scoby Leather.
Malai
Material Name: 

Malai

Biomimicry: 

Leather

Main Input: 

Microbe-derived

Founded: 

2018

HQ: 

India

TRL: 

Founder(s): 

Zuzana Gombošová, Susmith C S

Website: 
About the Company

Malai Biomaterials Design Pvt. Ltd. (Malai) was co-founded by Zuzana Gombosova, a material designer from Slovakia, and Susmith C. S., a product designer and mechanical engineer from India. Their initial focus on studying the sustainability of bacterial cellulose for commercial use led them to create a leather alternative called malai. They successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign in November 2019 to raise funds for equipment and have since partnered with multiple designers and brands from Europe and the United States to find applications for their materials in fashion, accessories, and home goods. In February 2020, they won the Circular Design Challenge for sustainable and circular fashion projects during the Lakme Fashion Week in India.

Material

Malai is a biocomposite made from bacterial cellulose grown on agricultural waste sourced from the coconut industry in Southern India.

Technology

A bacterial culture feeds on sterilized waste coconut water and a cellulose jelly sheet is produced. After fermentation is complete, this cellulose is enriched with plant fibers like banana stem fibers, gums, and resins to create a durable and flexible material.

Applications

Accessories, footwear, home goods

Selected Brand Partnerships

Kazeto, Eva Klabalova & Lucie Trejtnarova, Libena Rochova

Malai, MII Next-gen Materials, Next-gen Leather, Alternative Leather, Scoby Leather.

Images: Malai.

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