Limonta, a 130-year-old Italian textile and materials company, and Modern Meadow, a US specialist in biofabrication, have signed a joint venture for the creation of BioFabbrica LLC. Under the roof of BioFabbrica both partners want to merge their expertise in creativity, craftsmanship and biotechnology to offer sustainable materials and ingredients solutions addressing brands in the fashion, automotive and interior markets.
Anna Bakst, CEO of Modern Meadow, further explained to The SPIN OFF how the joint venture will develop.
The first materials developed by BioFabbrica are bio-based and alternative to leather, like, for instance, the Bio-Alloy technology. This material is lightweight, and has similar quality look, feel and patina as leather, along with superior color expression and dye-ability. This new development enables luxury and premium brands to achieve the quality their clients are used to yet with a more responsibly sourced material. Also in view of the development and production of the material itself, brands have a complete overview of the process allowing us to achieve “lab-to-brand” traceability. The Bio-Alloy technology leverages the power of protein to bring unique characteristics to materials. This provides an opportunity for BioFabbrica to create unique materials that go far beyond leather, and bring performance and sustainability to the world of textiles.
The materials are completely free of any animal inputs and have dramatically reduced usage of virgin fossil fuel inputs, instead replacing these with sustainablysourced plant-based biocontent and recycled inputs. These materials therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions versus leather by 80%. Thanks to the partnership with Limonta, these materials are made in a responsible manufacturing site that is ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 9001 certified.
When was it disclosed?
The first products using Bio-Alloy will be used by Senreve, a women’s handbag brand, whose first prototypes have been shown in late October 2021 and will be launched in early 2022. BioFabbrica’s first materials' collection will be available in early February 2022.
Have any other brand already started using it?
We are currently partnering with several brands for them to use our materials in the context of upcoming collections in early 2022. Senreve has already announced that it will be launching its first handbags featuring Bio-Alloy technology on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2022.
BioFabbrica’s upcoming materials are the first steps toward a better alternative to leathers and synthetic materials.
In particular, the Bio-Alloy technology gives unique color performance and dye-ability and great durability while remaining lightweight. It offers a quality look and feel comparable to traditional leather, while it is made from more sustainable inputs. The technology is ready-now, and it is scalable, so it can be adopted widely across footwear and accessories applications. This material is highly durable for long usage in multiple applications. That said, we are still working towards end-of-life solutions to enable biodegradability of this material.
How did Modern Meadow and Limonta meet?
I introduced Modern Meadow and Limonta after I joined Modern Meadow’s board in late 2017, as I believed the two companies had great synergy and shared values and goals around performance, quality and sustainability. Early on, I clearly understood the power of joining these two companies with clear complementary capabilities–namely Modern Meadow’s deep scientific capabilities in biotechnology and material science and Limonta’s creativity, craftsmanship, industrial know-how, and close relationships with top brands. After review of the short term as well as long terms opportunity, the two companies decided to create a joint venture to bring the first materials using Modern Meadow’s Bio-Alloy technology to market.
This partnership is a joint venture, leveraging the best of both companies’ capabilities and expertise.
What do you see in the future evolution of sustainable fashion and, more generally, of fashion?
We see brands seeking to make more responsible choices, while continuing to deliver quality and functionality to their customers. We see a great demand for innovative, performing sustainable materials that are scalable to enable broad adoption. We also believe that by creating desirable, bio-based materials, we pull through an ecosystem of sustainable solutions that all work together to deliver better options for brands and consumers, and hence a global shift to a sustainable bioeconomy. We see a demand for greater transparency and a more educated consumer base around sustainability, demanding products that are better for the planet.