The vegan leather produced in India uses leftover flowers
The tonnes of flowers that flood the Ganges have a strange new application thanks to an Indian start-up: vegan leather.
Kanpur, a city in northern India, has a sterile lab with an incubator filled with flasks inside of a dusty complex. There is a small mound of what appears to be sourdough starter in each of these flasks.
A bioreactor, a glossy metal cylindrical device, is located in the room next door and is similar to what you might expect to see in a facility that produces antibiotics. However, this is not a pharmaceutical factory, and the bioreactor’s production won’t be able to prevent an infection. But it might contribute to a little bit of river cleaning in India.
I want to write history with animal leather. Ankit Agarwal Fleather is produced by a Kanpur-based startup company named Phool and is a part of a burgeoning trend of businesses making plant- and fungi-based leather substitutes that hope to upend the established leather industry and profit from rising “vegan” fashion demand.
There are various environmental risks associated with animal leather production. The tanning and chemical treatment of animal skin to manufacture leather uses a lot of energy and water, and it also releases poisonous heavy metals that can contaminate water sources. In contrast, raising cattle for its skin results in the destruction of forests and the production of greenhouse gases. Activists for animal rights oppose leather as well, citing the cruel treatment of animals in slaughterhouses.
On the other hand, feather is created by recycling flower debris produced in Indian temples.
The startup’s journey began on a chilly winter morning in 2015, when Ankit Agarwal.