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© 2019 Material Innovation Initiative

WE ARE LIVING
IN THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.

 

THIS TIME IT WILL
BE A CLEAN ONE. 

PERFECT TIME FOR CHANGE

Sustainability issues, animal welfare concerns, and growing consumer demand combined with recent technology breakthroughs create the ideal scenario for revolutionizing the materials industry. Raw materials from animals rank as some of the most environmentally damaging, but few of the current alternatives meet requirements necessary for fashion, automotive, and home goods.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Materials derived from animals are some of the most environmentally destructive, Data from the Higg Materials Sustainability Index, a material scoring tool produced by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, shows that cow leather is the most environmentally destructive material and that silk and wool are in the top five most destructive.  

 

Turning animal skin into leather requires significant energy, use of harmful chemicals, and releases significant amounts of greenhouse gasses. As a co-product of meat, materials from animals share in the responsibility for the environmental hazards created by the meat industry as well.

TOP FIVE MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY DAMAGING MATERIALS

66%

of a brand's total
environmental
footprint comes
from the raw
materials

#1

Leather

#2

 

Silk

#3

 

Cotton

#4

 

Bast Fibers

#5

 

Wool

CONSUMER
DEMAND 

Industry data shows continuing increases in sustainable product sales. Demand is growing for sustainable, ethical products, and consumers are voting with their dollars.

%

90

Gen-Z consumers believe companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues.

66

%

Consumers willing to pay more for goods that are more sustainable.

%

42

Millennials want to know what goes into products and how products are made before they buy.

55

%

Consumers want to purchase leather alternatives because of animal leather’s impact on animals and the environment.

TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION

Across the world, we are seeing technology revolutionize our everyday lives. From innovations in plant-based milks to lab-grown meat, hotels versus Airbnb and taxis vs Uber, industries that have ignored innovation and been stagnant are being disrupted in a way we could have never imagined even just 10 years ago.  

 

The animal materials industry is archaic. The process of taking animal body parts and turning them into a material is long and inefficient. Here is just one example for the production of leather which takes over two years.

 

We see this same inefficiency across all animal materials. For example, it takes TEN TIMES more energy to produce an animal fur than faux-fur piece. 

Producing Cow Leather Can Take Up to Two Years

Insemination

Insemination

Birth

Birth

Growth

Growth

Slaughter

Slaughter

De-hairing

Splitting

Tanning

Shipping

Deliming

Skin Receiving

Triming

Re-tanning

Shipping

Tanning

Stakiing

Drying

TECH 
REVOLUTION

Across the world, we are seeing technology revolutionize our everyday lives. From innovations in plant-based milks to lab-grown meat, hotels versus Airbnb and taxis vs Uber, industries that have ignored innovation and been stagnant are being disrupted in a way we could have never imagined even just 10 years ago.  

 

The animal materials industry is archaic. The process of taking animal body parts and turning them into a material is long and inefficient. Here is just one example for the production of leather which takes over two years.

 

We see this same inefficiency across all animal materials. For example, it takes TEN TIMES more energy to produce an animal fur than faux-fur piece. 

The Production Time for Cow Leather Can Be Up to TWO Years

Insemination

Insemination

Birth

Birth

Growth

Growth

Slaughter

Slaughter

De-hairing

Deliming

Skin Receiving

Shipping

Spliting

Tanning

Triming

Re-tanning

Milling

Wringing

Staking

Drying

Staking

Embossing

Conditioning

Coloring

ANIMAL WELFARE

1.4+ Billion

Leather Animals

4.5+ Trillion 

Silk Worms

Whether in the production of leather, wool or down, undercover investigations show time and again that cruelty is inherent in animal farming, even the farms certified as humane.

 

It is commonly - but incorrectly -  thought that materials from animals are by-products of the meat industry.

 

Animal materials are, at a minimum, co-products of the meat industry. Leather is the 2nd most profitable product of a cow at approximately 8% of overall profit. With fur, silk and exotic skins, the animal material itself is the MOST profitable product.

367+ Million

Wool Animals

1+ Billion

Fur Animals

840+ Million

Ducks & Geese

2.5+ Million

Exotic Animals

GET IN

TOUCH

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