Fashion brand Ganni pledges to abandon animal leather in favor of grapes



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Danish fashion brand Ganni has announced that it will phase out animal leather by 2023 in favor of plant-based alternatives and launch grape leather shoes in 2022.

Founded in 2000 by Frans Truelsen, the Scandinavian street-style brand has become cult. As a luxury brand with lower prices, Ganni became famous on Instagram thanks to the hashtag #GanniGirls.

Ganni has now announced that it will phase out leather products and phase them out entirely from its range.

Gradually phase out leather for vegan alternatives

Taken over by Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup in 2009, the brand is committed to environmental responsibility and progressive social activism. The owners want Ganni to set the tone for future generations.

“We are phasing out leather completely by 2023, as this goes against our efforts to minimize our impact due to the high levels of methane emissions from livestock,” said Nicolaj Reffstrup.

He said: “Selling leather products, while very profitable, will soon be as outdated as smoking on television.”

Ganni does not present itself as a “sustainable” brand. The company recognizes the conflict between fast fashion and sustainability. Instead, Ganni strives to become more responsible over time while minimizing its social and environmental impact.

As a first step in abandoning animal leather, Ganni teamed up with Vegea. This Italian manufacturer creates plant-based alternatives. These are used for fashion, furnishings, packaging and transportation.

Grape leather

In collaboration with Italian winemakers, Vegea has developed a process to transform skins, stems and grape seeds into an alternative to traditional leather. Vegea grape leather is made of 55% vegetable oil and grape biocompound and 45% water-based polyurethane. Luxury automaker Bentley recently collaborated with Vegea, creating an all-vegetable leather interior for its new concept car.

Ganni will offer eight pairs of shoes made from this material, so grape-based moccasins, thongs and slides are part of their Spring / Summer 2022 collection.

“The introduction of Vegea, a plant-based alternative made from agricultural waste, is a step in the direction of more responsible collection,” said Reffstrup.

Vegan moves in the fashion industry

The transition to alternatives to leather follows similar movements in the fashion industry. A collection of sustainable accessories Karl Lagerfeld for spring 2021 used vegan cactus leather. Hermes uses an alternative to mushroom leather. Tommy Hilfiger introduced sneakers made from recycled apple peel fibers.

French company Kering, owner of 12 luxury brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent, announced in September that it would stop using animal fur from 2022. Kering also now manufactures products for its brands in Mylo, a mushroom based leather.

A report from the Vegan Society, The rise of vegan fashion, saw nearly 50 percent of customers surveyed want to see more vegan verified clothing. Thus, the growing attention to sustainability and ethics in fashion will fuel the demand for cruelty-free and low-impact alternatives to leather.


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