As mentioned in the Gospel of John, Jesus had transformed water into wine at the wedding at Cana (believed to be a town in modern-day Israel) because the party ran out of wine during the Seudat Nissuin. 1750 miles away from Israel, in Milan, wine is being transformed into leather since January 2016 by Vegea.
Vegea the Italian tanner
Research on Vegan leather alternatives is getting more and more sophisticated and the research never stops. The same goes with Vegea.
Vegea was established by Gianpiero Tessitore. Tessitore graduated from Politecnico di Milano in 2004 with a degree in architecture and worked for GEODATA, a multi-disciplinary Italian company, as a senior architect for 13 years.
He is now a shareholder of GEODATA. As an architect and environmentalist by ethics, Tessitore merged his interests to innovate Wine leather.
Vegea the leather of hard work
They conducted extensive research at the University of Florence to find the most sustainable vegetable or fruit fibre to manufacture vegan leather.
After years of analysis, environmental chemist Francis Merlino discovered that marc of grapes contains vegetal oil and fibres that are ideal for production and then polymerized using innovative technology.
Every year, they manufacture 26 billion litres of wine; 6.5 billion pounds of grape marc generated. Tessitore began sourcing marc of grapes from wineries to manufacture eco-sustainable leather.
The start-up backed by European Union Horizon with over 560,000 euros and till now has received total financing of 800,000 euros.
Shape of wine
Vegea receives dried grape marc (seeds, skin, pulp, and stem of grapes after pressing for juice) from wineries, then treated mechanically to get a mixture.
The mixture is coated and transformed into sheets of the material. Fabric designers craft the sheets to create leather of different flexibility, consistency, weight, and thickness. Vegea wine leather is new material as a prototype garment, bags, and other fashionable accessories.
They patented the process in 2016. According to statistics, 3 billion square feet, roughly equivalent to about 4,00,000 football pitches, of vegan leather can be manufactured every year.
The eco-friendly parallel of classic leather
Wine leather is the new norm in sustainability. The processing of this biomaterial is eco-friendly and cost-efficient. An innovative manufacturing process that creates a sustainable vegan leather that is very similar to animal leather.
Gianpiero Tessitore has challenged the linear economy model with his innovation that leaves a negligible eco-footprint. Though manufactured so differently, Wine leather is aesthetically and sensibly similar to the classic tanned leather.
They use no varnishes and petroleum products for the coating of the wine leather. The concept of recycling of the Vegea is amazing.
Vegea has scooped several awards for its disruptive innovation Start & Cup Award 2015, Start and Re-Start 2016, PETA Innovation Award 2017, and the Global Change Award 2016 from H&M.
Over 1 billion animals slaughtered every year for the production of leather. Leather is not just a by-product of the meat industry, it majorly comes from animals slaughtered specifically for leather.
Tanneries are abiding by devious and unethical practices that require an immediate check. Classic leather alternatives like Wine leather is entirely cruelty-free and eco-friendly.
Vegea will certainly be known in the mainstream and will play an important role in the fashion industry with its 100% sustainable and vegan leather.
Don’t miss – Orange Fiber can turn into a Sustainable Fabric.