“‘Why is there no great alternative to regular animal or plastic furs?’ is the million-dollar question that led biochemist Martin Stübler to launch biomaterials company Biofluff,” wrote WWD, in its article on the plant-based fur alternative’s recent $2.5M seed round.
“It was important to us not to use plant material that’s in competition with a human food crop. We are taking advantage of the waste stream of [an] agricultural main product,” Stübler told WWD. “Our fiber is a naturally existing fiber that doesn’t have to be spun or extruded. There’s no plastic anywhere, mixed in or coating it.”
Available in rolls of 1.2 and 1.5 meters in width, the brand’s offering includes between six and eight references of fur-, shearling- and fleece-like fabrics. Naturally nutmeg brown, the material can be bleached to an ivory white or dyed using natural or mineral pigments. BioFluff also announced the launch of Savian, its flagship luxury materials brand, in partnership with Stella McCartney.
Sustainable materials have applications outside of luxury and fashion; more and more companies in the interior, automotive, and toy markets, among others, are desperate to get their hands on innovative biomaterials that are more sustainable—and often more cost-effective—than traditional animal-derived products.
As Wired reported earlier this year in a feature on TomTex, “The fashion and automotive industries are racing to discover the perfect animal-free leather to displace at least some of the almost $243 billion global market for leather. And what’s clear is the startup with the most affordable, durable, beautiful, biodegradable, and—this is the hard part—fossil-fuel-free material will win the spoils.”
Plant-based leather maker TômTex has since raised a $2.25 million seed round, led by Happiness Capital with SOSV, Parley for the Oceans, Earth Venture and MIH Capital participating. The company’s patent-pending technology uses 100% bio-based inputs including mushrooms, coffee grounds and seafood shell waste to create a non-woven, biodegradable and plastic-free leather alternative.
Per WWD, “It’s already a fashion industry fave, and has collaborated with Peter Do, Di Pesta and Maitrepierre at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks.”