Japan Companies Turn to Apple Waste to Make Eco-Friendly Leather
Author: Daisuke Inoue
Faux leather is nothing new, but leather made from apple waste has been drawing the attention of both companies and consumers. Frequently referred to as apple leather, the material has been used in various commercial products overseas as a result of people becoming more environmentally conscious, as well as U.N.’s sustainable development goals. Progress has also been made in Japan to develop the material commercially. Bags and wallets made of Italian apple leather were on display at a recent sales event at the Yurakucho Marui department store in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. “It’s indistinguishable from real leather,” said university student Taiga Matsumoto, 20, who came to the event. “If the functionality and design are the same, I’d choose the one that is more eco-friendly.” The products were created by bag and accessory company Lovst Tokyo. “If you use faux leather made from plants, there will be less livestock production, leading to less carbon dioxide emissions,” said Kaito Karasawa, 31, president of the Tokyo-based company. “Many people choose [these products] as a way to help the environment.” Apple leather is considered an ethical product as it is manufactured with the environment and people in mind. The products have recently been drawing attention as there is more interest in climate and human rights issues. As the plant-based leather is made from dried apple cores and pomace that have been crushed and mixed with resin and other materials, it leads to less food waste. Apple leather is light and can stretch, and the texture is very similar to animal leather.