Why This Cruelty-Free Leather is Better Than The Real Thing

One start-up is trying to prove that animals do not need to be sacrificed or harmed in order to make quality leather.

Modern Meadow, a Brooklyn-based biotech startup, is making biofabricated leather that’s made in a lab from collagen cells that can be used to make a material that mimics the real thing – all without hurting or killing any animals.

The company announced this week that it has raised $40 million in funding that it now hopes to use to go from research and development to full-scale production for the first time.

“Modern Meadow harnesses the combined power of design, biology and engineering to change the way we think about materials, unlocking the capabilities of nature,” said Andras Forgacs, Co-Founder and CEO of Modern Meadow. “Leather, which represents a $100-billion raw material market, has always been prized for its beauty, functionality and enduring status. Today, as a co-product of the meat industry, it is subject to fluctuations in availability, quality, price and growing demand. At Modern Meadow, we’re re-imagining this millennia-old material to create revolutionary new features without harming animals or the environment.”

While many see leather as a byproduct of the meat industry that shouldn’t go to waste, it’s really just making animal agriculture more profitable and perpetuating the slaughter of many other species who are raised and killed just for their skin.

Modern Meadow’s alternative, which the company hopes to bring to a wide range of industries, isn’t just better for animals, it’s better for the environment. Biofabricated leather can be made according to the size and shape required, reducing waste, and even has improved qualities like greater strength. It also uses less land, water, energy and chemicals to turn flesh into a product we want to use than traditional leather production, which, according to the company, reduces waste by 80 percent.

While Modern Meadow is on its way to making biofabricated leather a reality, the company isn’t the only one using science to find an alternative to the real thing.

Researchers at Iowa State University also recently made headlines for making vegan-friendly leather that’s made from a byproduct of kombucha tea. Not only is it cruelty-free, it’s also 100 percent biodegradable and can be made without the chemicals and waste that comes with the production of leather and other textiles.

Hopefully the use of science and technology, along with an increasing awareness about how harmful animal products are to them, the environment, and in turn us, will help make these innovative alternatives a first choice among consumers.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Aaron Johnson
Aaron Johnson2 years ago

That is totally new!

Fiona Ogilvie
Fiona Ogilvie2 years ago

Good. I will buy some then.

Nina S.
Nina S2 years ago


Ricky T.
Ricky T2 years ago

Ethical fashion.

Me myself and I A.
Past Member 2 years ago

Sorry i dont trust them,,,,, have to check on on those people who claim all this,,needs to be more investigated ....

Andrea Kenyon
Andrea Kenyon2 years ago

Good idea

Ruth C.
Ruth C2 years ago

Don't be cruel to animals!

Frances Bell
Frances Bell2 years ago

But where does the collagen come from? It's a compound found in animals.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago