Research Question: What is “apple leather” and how is it produced?
My goal is to show other people that there are alternatives to conventional leather and they can even be vegan, recyclable, sustainable and better for the environment.
What is apple leather?
It’s a vegan and recycled alternative to the animal leather and wants to help the environment. Apple leather is made out of waste from the apple juice production. The official name of it is AppleSkin but you can also say ApplePeel and apple leather. It was invented by Hannes Parth, Auf den Apfel gekommen – Hannes Parth (franzmagazine.com).
How is AppleSkin produced?
To understand easier how AppleSkin is produced I created the following video. If you like to read the transcription you can open the PDF. To create the video I used the applications PowerPoint and iMovie. Most visualisations are self made. The others can be found below.
The production of AppleSkin (PDF, video transcription)
The most important ingredients for AppleSkin are apple pomace, (approx. 70%), water based polyurethane (20-30%) and lyocell. (<10%). The polyurethane is used to make the leather waterproof and more durable. It has a lower CO2 emission than other glues, but it is difficult to recycle. Here you can read more:
–Recycling von Polyurethan – gut für Umwelt und Wirtschaft (forum-csr.net)
-more scientifically: Polyurethane Recycling and Disposal: Methods and Prospects (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
Also a “Cradle to Cradle” approach could be challenging to implement, because biological and chemical raw materials are mixed. For example, the companies might focus on developing biodegradable binders or finding ways to separate and recover the different components effectively.
I wanted to do an interview with Sohotree (sohotree.ch), a company that sells AppleSkin products, but unfortunately they didn’t have time. In the following PDF are the question (in German) I wanted to ask.
Interviewfragen Sohotree (PDF)
It’s was really interesting to get to know AppleSkin. I wanted to learn something about a leather substitute and I think it’s a good one. Everyone should know that there are sustainable alternatives to animal leather.
Finding an interview partner is not easy – I tried, but in the end there was no more time. It was challenging to create the video but in the meantime it was also interesting. It was not always easy to bring my ideas out of my head into a video or sometimes it just wasn’t possible with my application. However, in the end I was satisfied with my end result.
Reviewed by a friend and Nathanael Baumgartner
Can you imagine that an apple becomes leather? (appleskin.com)
Behind the Scenes with Production: Our Apple Leather Factory (omybagamsterdam.com)
Wasserbasierte PU-Beschichtung (pinqponq.com)
Was ist eigentlich eine PU-Beschichtung? (bergfreunde.de)
A Unique Story for a Unique Fabric (olivercompanylondon.com)
Auf den Apfel gekommen – Hannes Parth (franzmagazine.com)
The cover picture was arranged and taken in my photo studio.
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