Using soybeans to create vegan leather

We can now add soybeans to the list of cruelty-free leather alternatives.

XXLab is an all female collective in Indonesia that focuses on art, science and free technology. Founded in 2013, the collective focuses on hacking and making by using objects from daily life along with open source software and hardware. 

The collective uses soybeans to create vegan leather. This alternative reduces water pollution and creates sustainable fabric instead. SOYA C(O)U(L)TURE is a research-based product that aims to grow alternative energy, food and bio material from soya liquid waste using bacteria and tissue culture.

The liquid waste that results from large-scale tofu production pollutes sources of water in Indonesia. To prevent waste, the researchers at XXLab boil the liquid waste with vinegar, sugar, fertilizer and bacteria until the mixture becomes microbial cellulose, which is then dried. The result is a low-cost sustainable fabric with zero waste that can be used to make shoes, bags and wallets.

XXLab bio leather

In addition to bio leather, the researchers also aim to create biofuel and edible cellulose from the soya liquid waste.

The bio leather is not available to the public yet, however, the researchers hope it can become a trend in the future.

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