Latest Adidas shoe uses upcycled materials to avoid waste

January 25, 2022 by  
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Adidas has introduced a new hiking and athletic shoe in its TERREX line of apparel. The Nothing Left Behind Free Hiker Gore-Tex shoe is an ankle-supporting athletic shoe in sophisticated colors for the sustainably-minded hiker. It’s the latest in a growing movement for sustainable footwear. The Adidas TERREX Nothing Left Behind Free Hiker Gore-Tex shoes are the newest in the brand’s line of eco-conscious hiking shoes . They are part of the brand’s push for a more sustainable future and an end to plastic waste. The new shoes feature an upcycled upper with a breathable Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and Three Stripes Boost technology with responsive cushioning that provides bounce-back energy return as you walk. Continental-brand rubber outsoles and midsoles work together to provide traction on any surface. Related: Adidas 100% recycled jacket is solving plastic pollution Between the shoe’s fun colors and cool style, you would never guess it’s made of upcycled parts. The color palette is subtle but sporty, including muted red, pink, orange, green and blue details along with the classic gray Adidas stripes on the outside. Meanwhile, the upcycled parts use leftover materials from past product drops. “Through an innovative program that upcycles leftover premium materials within our supply chain, we are able to create and unveil the latest version of the Free Hiker model for the very first time,” said Michael Kadous, Head of North America, Adidas Outdoor, Terrex and Five Ten. “The varying materials used through this method produces a truly unique silhouette for shoe collectors and aficionados worldwide. ‘Nothing Left Behind’ reinforces Adidas’ ethos and commitment to exploring all avenues towards becoming one of the most sustainable performance brands.” Currently, The Nothing Left Behind Free Hiker Gore-Tex shoe is only available to Creators Club members and retails for $225. Buyers seem to be loving the shoes, with one reviewer even praising them for their comfort and ankle support. + Adidas Images via Adidas

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Adidas, Kering team up to slash textiles’ water and carbon footprint

January 25, 2022 by  
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Nonprofit Fashion for Good is launching tech solutions on plasma and laser treatments, spray dyeing, foam dyeing and supercritical CO2 for fashion giant partners.

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Adidas, Kering team up to slash textiles’ water and carbon footprint

Zen Running Club shoes made from sugarcane and eucalyptus

January 3, 2022 by  
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The fashion world is fraught with blame for environmental  pollution  from chemicals during production to the everlasting post-consumer life of clothes and shoes that fail to degrade in landfills. With this in mind, many shoe companies are looking for ways to source more sustainable materials, but with that comes a lot of greenwashing, making their efforts perhaps seem more comprehensive than they are. Zen Running Club is dashing into the scene with a different mindset — of transparency and building the company from the ground up based on what we now know about the damaging effects of traditional shoe production.  Zen Running Club was founded by three partners with a history in the fashion industry, Richard Rusling, Andy Farnworth and Dominic Sinnott. These three presented the question, “If the biggest brands were starting out today, what would they do differently?” The answer is, “Pretty much everything.” Related: Cariuma teams up with Mike Vallely for 100% vegan shoes Zen Running Club shoes are plant-based and 100% vegan. To leave a small footprint, the ZR 01 shoe is made from sugarcane and tree fibers.  “We wondered why, at a time of self-driving cars and commercial space travel, the choice for runners is split between performance, good looks, or respecting the environment. We wanted to prove that we could create shoes that do all this without compromise – made from  plants ,” said Rusling. As a shoe company, Zen Running Club caters to those who enjoy the outdoors by working to replace synthetic materials with eco-friendly ones. Toward this mission, its flagship ZR 01 running shoe features a rocker midsole made from sugarcane sourced from Brazil and naturally irrigated by  rainwater . It grows quickly and is endlessly renewable. Plus, as a plant, it filters carbon from the air and releases oxygen. The upper is made out of TENCEL™ Lyocell, a fiber that originates as eucalyptus tree wood harvested from sustainably-managed forests. The material is spreading like wildfire throughout the fashion industry as an environmentally-friendly substitute for petroleum and other non-renewable resources.  Moving to the outsole, the shoe incorporates FSC-certified natural rubber, and the sock liner is composed of castor bean materials. The company’s products also rely on a mix of  natural materials  such as organic cotton grown without fertilizers and other chemicals, and cotton recycled from production scraps as well as post-consumer waste.  While this modern approach to sourcing low-impact materials serves the company’s mission, it is a shoe and apparel company that is equally dedicated to ensuring a quality product for the consumer. Running shoes have an important job in offering the right amount of support and cushion while being lightweight and comfortable. Zen Running Club’s mantra that “running is meditation in motion” propels you forward as you run. Meanwhile, the company is racing toward its goals to achieve 100% plant-based products and meet these standards without compromise for fit, style or the protection of natural resources.   The company defines itself by these ideals stating, “Zen Running Club is on a mission to run a better life. They share their consumer’s spirit and passion for the planet, enjoying nature and sustainable living. Zen Running Club continues to push the boundaries of running shoes and apparel through innovation, style and cutting-edge sustainable technologies. Their aim is to fill a responsible lifestyle with ecological choices and the power to make better decisions.” In addition to the ZR 01, the company has also released a line of organic cotton t-shirts and crew-length socks with reinforced toe and heel as well as wicking technology.  Personal Review Zen Running Club offered to send a sample for review. As a result, I received a pair of the ZR 01 running shoes in the Asphalt/Black/Zen Yellow color combination. Starting with my sample’s arrival, the packaging was all paper-based and  recyclable .  Sometimes the small things make the biggest impact, and let me say, this shoebox makes a huge statement. First off, the company motto of “Made from good decisions” is front and center on the lid as well as included as a hashtag on other parts of the box as #madefromgooddecisions. Inside the lid, the artwork stands out. Although not credited, after doing a little research I discovered the artist responsible for the design is James Nunn, a longtime runner and nature enthusiast who says, “The Zen Running Club project was the perfect opportunity to combine my work with my love of the natural world and running in it. I guess because those things are so integral to my life, the concept presented itself very quickly. I focussed (sic) on ways to represent the values of ZRC and the kind of world we want to run in. It was a simple case of depicting the plants that make up the shoe and to build a world out of all of that foliage to make a verdant healthy place where the shoes on our feet don’t harm the world we run in.” The artwork is striking and repeated on the tissue paper inside the box.  Moving on to the shoes. They are also striking. I adore the color contrast of the yellow against the dark charcoal grey. I feel obligated to preface this review with an understanding that I’m not a runner. However, I have been wearing them for several days and can speak to many elements. The fit is as expected with plenty of room. The sock-fit upper is soft, flexible and very breathable. The sole offers notable cushioning for a soft and supportive step, and the arch is centered on the inside of each foot. If you have a high middle arch, you may need an additional insert, but I imagine that depends heavily on your running style. Construction is durable, and the shoelace construction design is unique with a distinctive appeal. In fact, the subtle patterning throughout the upper adds visual contrast. Finger pulls on the tongue and back make it easy to put the shoes on and appear to be attached with quality stitching that’s incorporated into the design. Overall, these great shoes are ultra-lightweight, stylish and comfortable.  + Zen Running Club Images via Zen Running Club and Dawn Hammon 

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Zen Running Club shoes made from sugarcane and eucalyptus

MVMT releases new bracelet made from recycled ocean plastic

November 30, 2021 by  
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In the fight against pollution and environmental waste, there are many levels of similarly-minded people in government, nonprofit, for-profit and community all working towards the same goals. So it makes sense that a name like Surfrider is a perfect match with #Tide Ocean and the fashion company MVMT.  MVMT is an accessories company that’s on an environmental mission. They started in 2013 with the support of a crowdfunding campaign that highlighted the support of consumers looking for eco-friendly products . MVMT released a minimalist-style wristwatch that is solar powered and features a case, strap and buckle made entirely from reclaimed ocean plastic pollution.  Related: Get your vegan jewelry fix with KEVA’s cactus leather line The watch was made possible through a partnership with Swiss-based nonprofit #Tide. Well established with a complete supply chain in place, #Tide upcycles ocean waste into a material many businesses have discovered and incorporated into their products. #Tide starts at the source by training fishermen to collect and properly sort plastic from the waterways of Southeast Asia. With its Swiss partners, #Tide then converts that ocean plastic into a usable plastic material for manufacturers, completing a closed circle of recycling that avoids the need for virgin materials.  On the heels of a successful launch of the watch, MVMT partnered with another notable organization with a central focus on cleaning and protecting the planet’s water: Surfrider. The result is a slim, sleek rope bracelet that makes a subtle statement about the state of the ocean without sacrificing anything in the name of fashion. The Upcycled Rope Bracelet is the newest release by MVMT and represents the company’s mission to provide quality minimalist designs that speak to the consumer and support the planet. “When the design team discovered #Tide Ocean material, a company that repurposes ocean bound plastic and supports local coastal communities, we felt inspired to create a chic piece of jewelry: a wearable reminder to all to do our part in caring for our oceans,” said V.P. of Product and Design Thomas Moran. “Living in California, the ocean is a powerful and life-giving character in our lives. This design is inspired by nautical hardware and the function, durability and utility needed for life in or around the water .”  The Upcycled Rope Bracelet features a simple rope design that is easily adjustable and available in six color options. It’s made entirely of recaptured ocean plastic through the partnership with #Tide Ocean. One percent of all revenue from both the watch and the bracelet is donated to the Surfrider Foundation. The company is also part of 1% for the Planet. Surfrider is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the world’s ocean, beaches and waves through a variety of initiatives. Not only does it aim to reduce the impact of plastic on the marine environment , but Surfrider also defends from threats to the ecosystem and works with community decision makers to ensure beach access is open and accessible to all. It is also involved in protection of the coastline, working to ensure safe and clean water for animals and humans. Personal Review MVMT offered a sample bracelet so I could get a closer look and share my thoughts. They provided a green/gunmetal color combo as well as a black. The shipment arrived quickly and the boxes are paper-based . I was disappointed to open the box and see a foam insert, but discovered it’s actually a BLOOM algae-based product. BLOOM is the same brand that has provided materials for a range of products, from shoes to surfboards, in an effort to meet the needs of eco-conscious companies moving away from petroleum-based plastics. Back to the packaging, MVMT uses water-based glues and inks to round out the thoughtful design.  The bracelets are simple as promised. Yet, they speak of quality. The detail work in the metal adds contrast to the rope . Rather than the typical material you might see at the end of a hoodie drawstring or shoelace, these connecting pieces appear to be extremely durable. I see no chance of cracking, breaking or peeling. Where the rope meets to complete the circle, the main detail is also a circle (like an O for ocean) with solid connections.  The rope material has the slightest amount of give, so it moves with you while you’re wearing it. My favorite feature is the adjustability. The mechanism slides smoothly and freely, yet remains in place once cinched down to size. This aspect of the design really speaks to the quality of the piece.  Jewelry and accessories are a subjective thing. What appeals to one person may not to another. But for me, these bracelets offer a subtle accessory that makes a bold statement about the environment. Those are two things I’m happy to adorn my wrist with. + MVMT  Images via MVMT Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by MVMT. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own. 

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MVMT releases new bracelet made from recycled ocean plastic

Sylven New York has vegan shoes made from apples

November 5, 2021 by  
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“Sustainability is an often-used term, yet it is universally undefined – especially when it comes to fashion,” stated Sylven New York, a shoe company looking to take steps in the right direction towards more environmentally-friendly business practices. “For us, sustainability means defending and protecting our natural resources, and minimizing the environmental impact of our consumption and decision-making.” Founder of Sylven, Casey Dworkin, shares a birthday with Earth Day . It’s a connection she’s carried throughout her college years and experiences with footwear and fashion companies. But it wasn’t until she decided to start her own business that she was finally able to truly commit to the mission to “…seek to create the most sustainable, designer footwear on the planet. And that means conducting responsible practices throughout every single facet of our business.” Related: Loci vegan shoes give back to animal conservation efforts The collection of boots, sneakers and flats is a reflection of this commitment. The company regularly experiments with, and adopts, a variety of bio-based products to replace toxic leather, which pollutes land and water. Apple leather is at the heart of the vegan boots and sneakers. Natural rubber sourced from the sap of the hevea tree, coconut husks for the insole and recycled cotton laces show the commitment to creating an entirely plant-based and vegan shoe.  Being a sustainable company requires action at all levels of the business. With this in mind, Sylven is dedicated to only work with ethical Italian shoemakers who offer fair wages and safe working conditions, in addition to quality work meant to last. Sylven works to reduce waste at every phase by using recycled paper, recycled cotton dust bags and recycled and recyclable shoe boxes. The company also offers repairs to extend the life of shoes and works with recognized brand TerraCycle who responsibly recycles and disposes of shoes in order to strictly minimize those that end up in the landfill.  “We only have one planet , and one lifetime (that we’re conscious of)!” Sylven stated on their website. “And we aim to make the most of it. We intend to leave this place a little more replenished, and a lot more beautiful and inspired than how we inherited it. Sustainable thinking is a process, and our commitment is perpetual.” + Sylven New York Images via Sylven New York 

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Sylven New York has vegan shoes made from apples

Volvo teams up with Phillip Lim on sustainable weekender bag

October 18, 2021 by  
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In a collaboration between iconic Volvo and well-established sustainable luxury brand 3.1 Phillip Lim, they have developed a limited-edition weekender bag made from the same bio-based material being used in Volvo’s electric cars.  The announcement is no surprise, considering the focus of both businesses. Volvo released a statement in September 2021 vowing to take an ethical stance in the name of animals by committing to leather-free materials in its current and future electric cars. The company plans to move to a line of fully electric vehicle production by 2030. Related: Adidas 100% recycled jacket is solving plastic pollution Phillip Lim has an equally defined commitment to sustainable production, with a history of products such as algae dresses and eco-sleepwear. Since the start of his business, his core focus has been on the environment .  The 3.1 Phillip Lim weekend bag is made from the same bio-based and recycled materials found in Volvo’s leather-free car interiors, known as Nordico. Nordico was developed by Volvo and is a mixture of textiles made from recycled material like PET bottles, recycled corks from the wine industry and materials from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland. The bag was developed with the modern , eco-traveler in mind. The color’s name is Dawn, but a black color option from the same material will be released for the Volvo interiors. It showcases a Scandinavian design with inside storage and both hand and shoulder straps. Although the bag won’t be available at a retail level, the limited number produced will be showcased through competitions, charity auctions and giveaways. “Our brand mantra is to make less, mean more,” said Phillip Lim, Co-Founder and Creative Director of 3.1 Phillip Lim. “Connecting with Volvo on this sustainability project was an instant alignment of values. I strongly feel that in our collective current state of mind, we have the freedom to find sustainable solutions with new materials, while still being able to achieve high design, which is the ultimate luxury.” “We have a vision of where we need to go in the future, with the first step to ensure we harness sustainable, natural and recycled materials,” said Robin Page, head of design at Volvo Cars. “The collaboration with 3.1 Phillip Lim, to create a bag inspired by tomorrow’s materials, solidifies both our ambitions to challenge the wider design industry to reconsider the materials we use. From creating runway collections to the interiors of cars, we have a shared responsibility to find sustainable material alternatives.” + Volvo Cars and Phillip Lim   Images via Volvo Cars and Phillip Lim

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Innovative biophilic design planned for new village in Portugal

October 18, 2021 by  
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A new development is in the works, designed to sit on a Portuguese hillside and provide a community with unique characteristics and a focus on sustainable design, function, well-being and innovation. The project is dubbed Fuse Valley. It’s a collaboration between Farfetch, the leading global technology platform for luxury fashion , and Portuguese real estate developer Castro Group. The duo brought in notable sustainability-focused architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design the plan for the site. Related: The High Performance Surfing Center honors nature inside and out Located along the slopes of the Leça River in Porto, the site was chosen for its proximity to convenient transportation and the river. The overall blueprint of Fuse Valley will include 24 buildings for a mixture of tech companies, a hotel , small start-ups, and services. Farfetch HQ will encompass 12 interconnected buildings that open the doors to creativity and idea exchange between employees and visitors. “The individual buildings that constitute the various elements of the organization are connected to form large contiguous work environments – physically consolidated, but spatially varied to create a human-scale experience,“ said João Albuquerque, Partner in Charge at BIG . The BIG design places the buildings around plazas, parks and courtyards meant to blur the lines between the outdoors and indoor spaces while promoting a healthy work and community  environment . The Farfetch buildings include lobbies, an academy, an auditorium, a canteen and wellness facilities that flow together as an extension of the surrounding hillside and emphasize biophilic design throughout the spaces. The location and the focus on health are seen through the plans to cater to mobility to, from, and onsite with electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure to support the use of bicycles and electric scooters. Fuse Valley will also connect to the main public transport via shuttles. According to Paulo Castro, CEO of Castro Group, “Fuse Valley is the perfect interpretation of our golden rule, applied to all our projects: location, innovation, sustainability, and technology . What we are going to do in Matosinhos is something unique and that puts this space on the international map of what is best done both in terms of sustainability and in terms of innovation. With this project, we intend to develop a smart city, or in this case, a smart valley.” In both construction and scheduled use of the buildings, Farfetch and Fuse Valley are leaning into  green building practices  and low environmental impact with the hope of being one of the most sustainable building developments in Portugal and Europe. Fuse Valley is scheduled to break ground by early 2023 and open its doors in 2025. + Farfetch Via BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group Visualizations by Lucian R, courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group

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Innovative biophilic design planned for new village in Portugal

5 standout brands from Vegan Fashion Week 2021

October 15, 2021 by  
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As more consumers prioritize sustainability, the days of fast fashion are numbered. This year’s Vegan Fashion Week in Los Angeles highlighted brands that are stepping up to meet the demand for ethical products by offering fashionable creations free of animal products.  In 2021, vegan fashion has moved beyond the simple aesthetics from its days as a niche market. Now, you can find clothes you have an affinity for in a variety of styles. Curious about what the vegan fashion world has to offer? Check out these five standout brands from Vegan Fashion Week 2021. Related: Get your vegan jewelry fix with KEVA’s cactus leather line Vegan Tiger Vegan Tiger kicked off Vegan Fashion Week’s Friday fashion show. As Korea’s first vegan fashion brand, Vegan Tiger wants to “end fur animal suffering and give consumers wider choices,” according to their mission statement. To this end, Vegan Tiger creates cruelty-free clothing, including faux fur outerwear and GRS-certified recycled polyester jackets. While these high-fashion items come with high prices, the brand puts some of its proceeds toward donations for animals and the environment. Lunar Method Cactus leather has been having its moment in the fashion industry, and Lunar Method puts it to use in luxurious, functional bags. Accentuated with colorful fabrics sourced from Mexican artisans, these bags are made of durable, PETA-certified cactus leather. A relatively new brand, Lunar Method began researching animal leather alternatives in December 2020 and launched a Kickstarter in July 2021. One of the brand’s collections is already sold out, showing the high demand for sustainable, vegan leather products. Fleur & Bee Looking for a more affordable vegan brand? All of Fleur & Bee’s clean skincare products are under $30. From facial cleanser and toner, to vitamin C serum and eye cream, Fleur & Bee has everything you need for a natural, vegan beauty regimen. Its products are also free of sulfates, parabens and artificial fragrances. Solios For a timeless accessory, check out these solar -powered watches from Solios . Started by university friends Samuel Leroux and Alexandre Desabrais, Solios creates sustainable watches powered by clean, renewable energy. The brand does not use any single-use plastic in its supply chain, favoring instead for recycled and recyclable paper packaging. Solios also donates to the Rainforest Trust and has committed to protecting one acre of rainforest for each watch sold. Shoes 53045 Complete your outfit with stylish shoes from Shoes 53045 . While working to become more sustainable, this vegan brand strives to source renewable and recycled materials. Currently, Shoes 53045 uses Better Cotton Initiative certified canvas and GRS-certified recycled cotton for some of its shoes. It’s also sourcing a corn-based leather alternative, finding ways to minimize shipping emissions and planting one tree for each pair of shoes sold. So far, the company has planted 22,550 trees as part of its program. While the vegan fashion world still has room to grow in terms of prioritizing eco-friendly materials and making products accessible to a wider range of consumers, these brands show the potential in cruelty-free clothing. Photography by Delaney Tran and Grae Gleason / Inhabitat

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5 standout brands from Vegan Fashion Week 2021

Hermit crab study shows microplastic’s affect on marine life

October 15, 2021 by  
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A new study published in the journal  Royal Society Open Science  has found that microplastics affect the behavior of hermit crabs, a key part of the ocean ecosystem. The study, conducted by Queen’s University, highlights how microplastics impact hermit crabs’ growth and reproduction. In a press release, researchers explained the study’s methodology, saying, “The research involved keeping hermit crabs in two tanks: one which contained polyethylene spheres (a common microplastic pollutant ) and one without plastic (control) for five days. The team simulated the environment to encourage a hermit crab contest through placing pairs of hermit crabs in an arena, giving the larger crab a shell that was too small and the smaller crab a shell that was too big.” Related: Global warming driving mass migration of marine life Shell fights are crucial to the survival of hermit crabs. During shell fights, the crabs have to fight each other in contests over larger shells to occupy as their home. During their growth, crabs move from smaller shells and find new homes by fighting each other. According to the latest study, hermit crabs exposed to microplastics had impaired attacking and defending behavior. As a result, the researchers say that the crabs’ ability to grow and survive is weakened. Hermit crabs are vital to the entire ocean ecosystem. As scavengers, these tiny animals help recycle energy back into the ecosystem. They feed on decomposed sea life and bacteria , helping rebalance the ecosystem.  One of the lead researchers on the paper, Manus Cunningham from Queen’s University, said, “These findings are hugely significant as they illustrate how both the information-gathering and shell evaluations were impaired when exposed to microplastics.” According to Cunningham, there is not a significant amount of information available on how microplastics impact sea life . This is one of the first studies to show the exact threats microplastics pose for specific species. “Although 10% of global plastic production ends up in the ocean, there is very limited research on how this can disrupt animal behaviour and cognition. This study shows how the microplastic pollution crisis is threatening biodiversity more than is currently recognised,” said Cunningham. Via Newswise Lead image via Pixabay

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Hermit crab study shows microplastic’s affect on marine life

Get your vegan jewelry fix with KEVA’s cactus leather line

September 13, 2021 by  
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It’s time for animal leather to step aside. Cactus by KEVA is here with a collection of vegan leather goods that proves there’s much more to leather than animal hide. This leather is organic, animal-friendly, sustainable and vegan. It’s also PETA-certified, made in the U.S. — oh, and it looks amazing, too. Processing animal leather is a  toxic process  that involves chemicals like formaldehyde, cyanide, chromium and lead. These chemicals are commonly used by tanneries, which create waste that can contaminate the water nearby. Statistics from the CDC show that people who live near tanneries are more likely to contract serious diseases, such as cancer. All the chemicals , stiffeners and additives used to process leather also make it nearly impossible to biodegrade. This is only a part of how animal-based leather negatively impacts the environment. Collections like Cactus are working toward changing all that. Related: Miomojo presents luxurious plant-based leather bags The leather comes from the Nopal cactus , a plant perhaps better known as the prickly pear. It’s grown on an organic ranch in Mexico. The process is pretty simple; mature leaves are taken from the plant, cut and then placed in the sunlight to dry naturally for three days. No more energy than that is needed to create this vegan leather . There is no irrigation system on the ranch. Rainwater and natural minerals from the Zacatecas region of Mexico are all that feed these plants. Even with repeat harvesting, prickly pear plants last for eight years.  The leather is created from the leaves, then processed with KEVA’s patented formula to create a highly durable, flexible and beautiful leather product. The Cactus collection uses this vegan leather for beautifully and sustainably designed earrings , bracelets, watches and key rings. KEVA was created by Eva Harris and Ginny Ball, who began the company because they wanted lightweight, beautiful leather earrings. Every piece of jewelry is hand-made in their Richmond, Virginia workshop. These vegan leather accessories can be purchased on Amazon, at boutiques around the U.S. and on the KEVA website. + KEVA Images via KEVA

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Get your vegan jewelry fix with KEVA’s cactus leather line

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