Melina Bucher launches Mirum plastic-free vegan leather designer handbags – vegconomist

German luxury fashion brand Melina Bucher launched handbags made of Mirum®, a fully biodegradable, plastic-free alternative to leather made by Welding of natural fibers (NFW).

Founded in 2019, Melina Bucher is an ethical and sustainable brand using only vegan materials. Due to concerns about the environmental impact of the 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 waste or pineapple leaves, still rely on plastic resins and adhesives.

Mirum, which is made from natural rubber and colorants such as 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, as it can be reused over and over to make new products and is completely biodegradable.

© Melina Bucher

Setting 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 reduce carbon emissions and wants 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’, not ‘plastic’,” said Founder and CEO Dr. Luke Haverhals. “In the future, when NFW claims a material is ‘vegan’, it will be ‘vegan’ in the purest sense of the word.”

Mirum, © Soudure Fiber Naturelle

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 factory in Spain.

“With my philosophy, I stand for honest, transparent and ethical luxury fashion,” said brand founder Melina Bucher. “I want to inspire and encourage consumers and other brands to change.”

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