Vegan leather alternatives are getting more and more sophisticated and the research never stops. A tech Italian company, Vegea, have created the first 100% vegan leather made of wine. Yes, wine. The inventor, a Milan-based architect Gianpiero Tessitore, says the product is for those consumers who prefer to spend money on green and cruelty-free alternatives to animal and oil-based synthetic leathers. In facts, this new vegetable material is produced through an innovative production process that transforms fibres and vegetable oils present in the grape marc into an ecological material with the same mechanical, aesthetic and sensory characteristics of normal leather. The vegetable product uses zero water (and zero oil) to produce up to 240 litres needed per square meter of animal skin; it doesn’t have any impact on ecosystems, there is no suffering for animals and there are no tannery waste that uses heavy acids and heavy metals responsible for soil and water pollution. It’s a much greener solution than many other vegan alternatives because it doesn’t use any synthetic and polluting chemicals elements that are usually used for the production of traditional vegan alternatives. The bio-based textiles derive from the wine industry residues. And of course, it’s made in Italy, the largest wine producer. “The concept of our technology is the valorization of grape marc, a 100% vegetal feedstock comprising the skins, the seeds and the stalks of the wine grape bunch, which are left over after winemaking. The breakthrough of VegeaTextile is linked to the simultaneous valorization of the whole grape marc. Indeed, from the seeds, we extract a bio-oil which is then polymerized using an innovative patented process. In parallel, the skins and the stalks are employed in the specific compounding, also a patented step, for the production of textile with advanced technical properties”