With Lab-Grown Leather, Modern Meadow Is Engineering a Fashion Revolution(BoF)

Photo by Modern Meadow

The original post is from Business of Fashion.

NEW YORK, United States — In 2010, archaeologists digging in a cave complex in Armenia discovered what they believed to be the world’s oldest surviving example of leather footwear. Dating back to approximately 3500 BC, the simple cowhide shoe was made long before Stonehenge or the Great Pyramids of Giza. But it’s safe to say that humans have worn clothing made from animal skins for hundreds of thousands of years.

Today, the global leather goods business is worth over $100 billion a year and produces everything from car seats to luxury handbags. But the process of creating leather is still dependent on animal skins. Leather is unique for its strength and stretch, not to mention its aesthetic appeal and links to powerful cultural archetypes from cowboys and aviators to bikers and rockers. And yet raising and slaughtering the billions of animals whose skins feed the leather supply chain each year is inefficient, cruel and comes with huge environmental impact.

It doesn’t need to be this way. A venture-backed biotech start-up called Modern M