Stella McCartney debuts “the future of fashion” – handbags made from Mirum

Stella McCartney has launched the world’s first luxury handbags made from Mirum, a plant-based leather alternative, which first debuted at the Winter 2023 runway show during Paris Fashion Week.

Following Stella McCartney’s ethos, which hasn’t used leather, feathers, fur or skins since its launch in 2001, the company is constantly looking for new, innovative materials that are environmentally conscious.

Mirum is a vegan, plastic-free alternative to animal leather innovated by Natural Fiber Welding (NFW). Made from plant-based, all-natural ingredients, the material is the first of its kind to be both 100% recyclable and circular at the end of its life. Not only is the luxury-quality faux leather supple and durable, it is easily cleaned and fully water resistant.

The new material was used to create new editions of it’s the brand’s best-known Falabella and Frayme, which are now available in Stella McCartney stores and online. The brand is renowned for its Falabella handbag, which launched in 2009. As the original vegan ‘It-Bag’, it has sold over 1 million globally. The new Mirum edition features a recyclable aluminium body chain and lining crafted from recycled polyester sourced from water bottles.

Stella McCartney commented: “My Winter 2023 show is both a celebration of the love between humans and animals, as well as a call-to-action to take a stand for our planet – the perfect setting to introduce my iconic Falabella and Frayme bags in Mirum.

“I have long dreamed of the day when we would see a plant-based alternative to leather that does not kill a single creature and can be easily given back to Mother Earth, without creating waste. There is no compromise on desirability or durability; the future of fashion has arrived.”

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1.4 billion animal hides and skins were used in global leather production in 2020. During leather production, the tanning process uses and produces toxic chemicals and gases such as chromium IV.  In addition, the farming of cattle for beef and leather products is responsible for 80% of the Amazon’s deforestation, removing vital carbon sinks and reducing biodiversity.

The new leather alternative, Mirum, is a customisable fabric crafted in a three-stage process using bioneutral, certified biobased ingredients such as natural rubber, natural fibres, plant-based oil. To dye the fabric, pigments like biochar and rust are used, which do not contain plastics and requiring no tanning or additional water inputs to avoid creating wastewater. Mirum has a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to conventional animal and synthetic options.

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