German luxury fashion brand Melina Bucher has launched handbags made with Mirum®, a fully biodegradable, plastic-free alternative to leather made by Natural Fiber Welding (NFW).
Founded in 2019, Melina Bucher is an ethical and sustainable label using only vegan materials. Due to concerns about the environmental impact of plastics used in most synthetic leathers, the brand wanted to find alternatives. But he found that many “plant-based” leathers, made from materials such as apple scraps or pineapple leaves, still rely on plastic resins and adhesives.
Mirum, which is made from natural rubber and dyes like charcoal, is different. The material does not require tanning, which is an extremely polluting process, and its production requires much less water than conventional leather. Mirum is also said to be circular because it can be reused over and over to make new products and is fully biodegradable.
Set new standards
Earlier this year, Natural Fiber Welding, which produces Mirum, received an investment from automaker BMW. The investment makes sense, as BMW has announced that it will soon be removing leather from its Mini and 5 Series cars. The automaker has also announced ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions and is keen to explore more sustainable materials.
In an interview with vegconomist, NFW claimed to be one of the only truly plastic-free vegan leather brands. The company said it aims to set new standards for animal-free leather.
“NFW believes ‘vegan’ should mean ‘plants’ and not ‘plastic’,” said founder and CEO Dr Luke Haverhals. “In the future, when NFW claims that a material is ‘vegan’, it will be ‘vegan’ in the purest sense of the word. “
The first Melina Bucher handbag to use Mirum will be BAILEY, a two-tone black and beige bag with gold plated hardware. The bag is handmade by artisans in a family-owned factory in Spain.
“With my philosophy, I defend honest, transparent and ethical luxury fashion,” said the founder of the brand, Melina Bucher. “I want to inspire and encourage consumers and other brands to change. “