Researched and developed by Italian company Veja, corn leather utilises corn waste to create this leather alternative, and is sustainable due to the use of water and energy for the regrowth of corn being protected. The sustainability aspect can also be demonstrated through the base material of the product, made with more than 30% BIO plant the production does not redirect any resources that are crucial for food farms or animal feed.
This research was conducted over five years with Veja’s team undergoing tasks such as visiting dozens of innovative suppliers, attending conferences, employing a biologist and running numerous tests on fabrics.
Veja explained their reasoning behind their five year commitment to corn leather and stated, “Unfortunately, plastic is a 99% petroleum-based material, and is often over used as a leather alternative; we follow an ecological purpose so replacing it by Polymer materials has never been an option”. This explains that some polymer materials contain plastic, which is a non-biodegradable substance, demonstrating how it will not benefit the planet but will instead contribute to environmental issues such as global warming and carbon emissions. Veja ended their statement by describing Corn leather as “a vegan and bio-sourced material that offers an alternative for both smoothness and ecological commitment”.
This semi-natural material is composed of 50% corn waste and approximately 47% to 82% polyurethane which is then coated onto a canvas. The number percentiles are dependent on which brand is making the products.
Corn leather is a resistant and durable material which in fact is tougher than animal hide. This material obtains leather characteristics in terms of its touch and elasticity and is 63% biodegradable.
However, whilst corn leather is sustainable to obtain and durable in its practicality, the growth of the corn can be harmful to the wildlife and eco-systems if not grown organically. It has been found that the corn crop is sprayed with chemicals to keep pests and pesticides away. Sadly, this also equates to indirect harm to the wildlife and eco-systems as these chemicals contaminate soil, water, air, and plants that animals eat.
At Seventh Vegan, we give 100% of our profits to our registered charity The Brandy and Sober Foundation. The Brandy and Sober Foundation has been created to give substantial grants to selected animal welfare causes and charitable organisations.