Aside from mushroom leather, apple leather and even coconut water leather products currently being developed by several fashion designers, one American company by the name of Modern Meadow is aiming to create the world’s first lab grown leather made from a strain of yeast. The company has managed to raise more than $50 million from investors and is working with a number of businesses in the shoe, clothing, automotive and furniture industries. According to the company’s chief technology officer, Dave Williamson, Modern Meadow is scheduled to unveil it’s finished product on the catwalk by 2019.
Similar to the meat industry, the fashion industry looks to be following suit and is slowly starting to wean animals out of the manufacturing process. Accordingly, the Future 100, a report which uses global data to forecast upcoming trends in the largest sectors of the economy has predicted that vegan fashion, specifically amongst luxury brands, will be a major trend to look out for in 2018. It seems that since I’ve went vegan over a decade ago, things have become incomparably easier for those looking to adopt a more compassionate lifestyle. As I mentioned, my best options when I first embarked on this journey were limited to a handful of skate shoes and some canvas inspired footwear. High end fashion was not only out of my budget, it was usually synonymous with leather and suede as far as shoes were concerned. Despite the lack of variety, I managed to make it work back then and with the huge variety available today for conscious consumers looking to make the switch it has never been easier and more convenient. When considering the benefits of a plant based diet, one’s health as well as the ethical and environmental rewards are glaringly evident. However, when adopting a vegan lifestyle, you can be a superhero for the animals and the earth while still looking more stylish than ever thanks to modern innovation. Perhaps it’s time to consider not only leaving animals off of our dinner plates but off our bodies as well.