DTC brand Senreve tests soy-based leather handbags

The fashion industry is one of the main contributors of environmental waste. But 7 years Italian leather bag brand Senreve is trying to change that. Work alongside an American biotechnology company modern meadow and Italian textile company LimontaSenreve is trying to reduce its emissions by gradually reducing its collection by 50% vegan by 2023.

Senreve is Modern Meadow’s first fashion collaboration and the first brand to use Modern Meadow’s plant-based Bio-Tex material, in his Terra Vegan Collection. The collection, which dropped in March, has the same price range of $445 to $895 as Senreve’s other products. Modern Meadow extracts vegetable proteins from soy using its proprietary Bio-Alloy technology platform to manufacture Bio-Tex leather replacement material. The company also partnered with Everlane in late March 2022 to create a vegan, bio-alloy version of its classic tote bag, which is slated to launch in November 2022.

Founded a few years before Modern Meadow, Bolt Threads also offers plant-based fashion materials. Instead of using soy, Bolt Threads uses mushrooms to create its exclusive leather replacement material, dubbed Mylo. To date, the company has collaborated with brands such as Patagonia, Adidas, Lululemon, and Stella McCartney.

Modern Meadow plans to establish more and more collaborations, partnering with brands to deploy its plant materials in different formats.

“Senreve and Everlane are looking for material that is not [only] is going to be used in a capsule [collection], because they want to make an impact,” said Arshiya Lal, Product Materials Manager at Modern Meadow. For its part, Everlane plans to release more Bio-Alloy versions of existing styles within its collection over time.

For Senreve, the biggest benefit of using plant-based alternative leather is the adaptability of the protein used by Modern Meadow. The brand is able to use a wider range of colors with vegetable leather than with traditional leather because the former dyes more easily. While this allows for more creativity, which is beneficial for both brands and their consumers, the profitability of acquiring vegan leather products is where the complications arise.

With annual sales of $4 million, Senreve is unable to produce durable products at the same capacity as a more established brand like Everlane. “The cost of developing accessories in a material new to the market is significantly higher than traditional leathers,” said Coral Chung, Founder and CEO of Senreve.

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