The plant-based leather market is projected to reach USD 97 million by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2022 to 2027. Sustainability is an emerging concern across all industries as consumers seek ethical substitutes to conventional animal-derived materials that have been shown to have adverse implications on our planet and human well-being. Plant-based leather is an eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and sustainable alternative to traditional animal leather, having reduced impact on the environment and improved functionality and disposability while being less expensive than cowhide. Plant-based leather is a novel addition to the sustainable fashion ideology, developed by recycling wastes generated by agricultural harvest.
Based on product types, the plant-based leather market is segmented into pineapple leather, mushroom leather, apple leather, and cactus leather. Other eco-friendly materials employed in making plant-based leather comprise coconut, cork, tree bark, paper, recycled rubber, and Kombucha tea.
Enormous volumes of agrarian wastes which are generated every year in agriculturally rich countries of South and Southeast Asia, culminate in the annihilation of thousands of tons of biomasses, such as stems, leaves, and seed pods, and account for around 13% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study. Given that plant-based leather is produced using agricultural waste, Asia Pacific holds a significant opportunity for the industry to grow exponentially. The pineapple leather market has the most potential for expansion in the Philippines–the second-largest producer of pineapple in the world, generating a massive amount of waste to be utilized in the plant-based leather industry.
Plant-based leather is incredibly adaptable and can be applied in several creative ways. It is perfect for clothing, shoes, fashion accessories, furniture, home decor, and automobile accessories. However, compared to all other industries, plant-based leather has found profound application in the fashion industry as designers are leaping sustainable fashion. Premium fashionwear brand Stella McCartney (UK) collaborated with Bolt Threads to develop a mycelium leather-based jet-black bustier and utility pants. In its Spring/Summer 2020 collection, Tommy Hilfiger introduced apple leather sneakers made from Frumat’s Appleskin fabric. The zero-waste sneakers by Pangaia (Italy) are produced from discarded grape leather from the Italian wine industry. Fossils, an American watch and lifestyle company, collaborated with Mexico-based plant-based leather brand DESSERTO to create a cactus leather tote bag. As a consequence, the plant-based leather market is projected to grow at an exponential rate.