Repurposing India’s floral waste into leather

Hands with mehndi putting the colorful flowers on the water

A company in Kanpur, India, is converting flower waste that pollutes the Ganges River into a vegan leather alternative called Fleather. The company was launched after its founder observed the amount of garbage floating in the river, a majority of which were flowers discarded as part of Hindu worship. Like mycelium leather made from mushrooms, Fleather is made using bioreactors, allowing fungal microorganisms to grow into a material-like fibre. Through trial and error, the company discovered that they could manipulate and process the fungal fibre to grow in thick sheets, which can be used to create a viable flower alternative to animal leather. Read more.

Photo by Yan Krukau