As a designer, I'm always on the lookout for creative and unique products. I have a few Alessi items, a hedgehog pencil sharpener (Kastor), a coffee maker (La cupola), and more but I never thought I could purchase a leather that is made from mango. Not the fashion brand that's more of Linda's favourite, but the fruit itself. I love it - I love to eat it, drink it, or make cocktails with it. Mango is one of my favourite fruits, and the idea of turning its waste into a sustainable material for fashion and accessories seemed like a brilliant idea.
The company, Fruitleather, sources mangoes from Total Exotics, a Dutch firm that imports six million kilograms of mangoes each year. Due to quality control processes, around 1,500 mangoes go to waste every week. That's a lot of mangoes!
But with Fruitleather's revolutionary process, those discarded fruits can be transformed into a durable, eco-friendly material that can be used for everything from bags to shoes to furniture. But why do we need sustainable leather in the first place? As a designer, I'm always searching for quality products that are unique and made to last. And as a responsible consumer, I'm increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the things I buy. From the way we produce and consume food to the materials we use for fashion and accessories, we need to start thinking about sustainability as a key factor in our purchasing decisions.
For example, I recently had the opportunity to have a private tour at the Artemide shop in Treviso, Italy, and the famous Italian bicycle manufacturer, Pinarello. We were discussing our plans to design our own branded bags and laptop holders and had a great discussion about sustainable design with a very talented designer who resides in Vienna, Austria, Laszlo Lukacs. He proposed a design and a style that could be tailor-made to each of our team member's personal tastes. That's when we stumbled upon Fruitleather, and the possibilities suddenly seemed endless.
Fruitleather is not just a sustainable solution to the problem of food waste. It's also an innovative way to create unique and stylish products that are built to last. The material is strong, durable, and versatile, and it can be tailored to fit a wide range of designs and styles. And because it's made from natural, biodegradable materials, it has a much lower environmental impact than traditional leather or synthetic materials.
Of course, Fruitleather is just one example of the kind of creative solutions we need to start embracing if we're serious about building a more sustainable future. From upcycling to circular design to the use of renewable materials, there are so many ways we can rethink the way we produce and consume goods. And as designers and consumers, it's up to us to lead the way.
So the next time you're shopping for a new bag or pair of shoes, think about the impact of your choices. Consider investing in sustainable materials like Fruitleather, or look for products that are made with renewable resources and designed to last. By making small changes in our purchasing decisions, we can start to build a more sustainable and responsible world for all.