Once the decision had been made to establish iFarmaissance as a sustainable brand with a “Farm to Closet” policy, it was necessary to research the raw materials that were both environmentally friendly (non-fossil based and non-toxic) and free of animal cruelty issues.
Our founders’ initially investigated and evaluated four principal types of biobased alternatives to leather (grapes – Vegea, Italy); (pineapples – Pinatex, Philippines); (apple – Vegatex, Japan) and (cactus – Desserto, Mexico) as well as an assortment of other fruit or plant based from these waste or regenerative agricultural sources.
Jennifer’s long experience in sourcing and working with natural leather and PU was invaluable, as we found that each different type of biobased material had its own unique characteristics – varying thicknesses, textures, tensile and tear strengths, water permeability, hand feel etc. This presented an array of issues and challenges in both the conceptualisation and design and manufacturing phases of the production of our handbag and accessory collections.
We were able to adapt quickly through the application of Jennifer’s knowledge, the relationships we have created with the biobased leather suppliers’ and the craftmanship available to us in our selected factories.
Our signature grappaSac backpack was developed using grape leather from Vegea in Milan, Regione Lombardia, Italy and the balance of our original range from a combination of apple, cactus and pineapple.
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