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2020 Trend: Vegan Fabrics

Posted on Fri, 2019-12-13 10:22 by Lucy Galloway, Head of Interior Design

Now when you pick a paw paw or a prickly pear and you pick a raw paw next time beware don't pick the prickly pear by the paw.... An old favourite of mine. The Jungle Book taught me what a prickly pear was (it’s a type of cacti that has edible orangey, red coloured fruit), however, it is safe to say I hadn't made the connection that someday this dessert plant could be turned into a sustainable fabric, I'd end up specifying within interior projects come 2020.

Over the last decade we have seen two collections; Hemp (wool/hemp) & Sting (wool/nettle mix) by Camira one of our go-to commercial fabric manufacturers, who have promoted the environmental qualities when specifying these for furniture upholstery or interior finishes. However, both still have a high proportion of wool and the hemp and nettle are not the primary ingredients. Therefore, it was only a matter of time, that there would be an appetite and market for more raw, natural and vegan friendly textiles and fabrics available to the design world to specify in projects.

In more recent years and todays biggest, global topic is without a doubt, climate change. Helping the cause for a better circular economy that promotes ethical, sustainable design whereby raw material production is not harming our natural environment, our animals, our communities and civilisations.

Leather used as a design material we know doesn’t tick these credentials, and the alternative PVC or similar synthetic textiles equally raise concerns when specifying with its association to single use plastic or the cause of SBS (sick building syndrome).

So, here in the office we were very excited to hear about the launch of Desserto, a vegan leather alternative made from the Nopal cactus or as Baloo would say Prickly Pears and found in abundance in Mexico. Not only is it free of chemicals, it also has a minimum 10 years lifespan, making it extremely competitive with other commercial textiles. The duo start-up was inspired by a similar eco and ethical plant-based product Pinatex, made from pineapple leaf fibers in which the original source is plentiful.

It started the team thinking and chatting about sustainable fabrics and what we could use from the land around us…Scotch Heather maybe? One to look out for within our 2020 interiors!