Apple leather bags get luxurious with Louis Lucano

Apple leather bags are still not widely known to many luxury fashion consumers. But Louis Lucano is about to change that!

By Chere Di Boscio

Vegan leather is still not well regarded by many sustainable consumers. They consider it plasticky and cheap. Which can certainly be true, if you buy a “vegan leather” bag from H&M or Mango, for example.

But guess what? There are luxury versions of vegan leathers too. And apple leather is a prime example.

A Brief History of Apple Leather

Who would have thought 20 years ago that we could make great alternatives to leather from food scraps?

If you are unfamiliar with vegan leathers made from scrap, let me give you a brief description.

Apple leather, also known as AppleSkin™, is the brainchild of the Italian inventor Alberto Volcano. He noted that his country produced a lot of apple waste from fruit juice and compote production in northern Italy. And he decided to make good use of it.

His first creation was a kind of ecological paper. Compared to other papers, its CO2 impact was 20-25% lower. But that was only the beginning! He joined forces with Frumat, a company specializing in the recycling of industrial waste, to make his dreams come true.

One of the first projects developed was a vegetable glue. Although it wasn’t successful, he didn’t give up and instead decided to put the glue in a pasta machine to see what happened. And this resulting sheet of material became the basis for the luxury fabric we know today as apple leather.

Frumat has developed the concept even further. And today, eco-friendly, breathable, waterproof and durable apple leather is a game-changer in the world of luxury fashion.

How apple leather is made

Luxury apple leather is made by reducing apple waste to powder. It is then transported to a factory in Florence, where it is mixed with polyurethane and coated on a canvas of cotton and polyester.

The ratio is usually 50% apple waste mixed with 50% PU. Apple waste is a completely renewable resource and has a much lower CO2 impact than cheap vegan leathers made from 100% fossil fuels.

Yes, it’s a shame that plastic is used in bio-based leathers. But until now, without it, the materials wouldn’t withstand the general wear and tear of everyday life. Extending the life cycle of a product is important.

That being said, plant-based PU is growing rapidly, and as this technology advances, the use of plastics will decrease significantly.

No harmed animal

When you think about it, the way we torture and kill animals for fashion is really crazy. It’s something that Julia, the founder of Louis Lucanostrongly agrees.

“Animal welfare is a top priority for our brand. We try to show how designer bags can also be sewn from non-animal materials,” she says.

That’s why since 2019, Julia has been working on creating coveted apple leather bags. Its mission is to steer people away from the idea that luxury leather goods must be exclusively made of genuine animal leather. She also uses Desserto®, a cactus-based leather alternative, in her work.

For those who still feel like leather is somehow more “eco-friendly” than plant-based leathers, know this. According to Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Materials Sustainability Index (HMSI), leathers have an environmental impact of 176. This is mainly due to the contribution of animals to deforestation and water use. Not to mention the pollution caused by the tanning and dyeing of leather.

The impact of leather on the planet is really important! Especially compared to polyurethane-based fabrics, which only score 29.9 on the HMSI.

A focus on ethical production

Unfortunately, many vegan brands may use more environmentally friendly materials, but their products are often made in China, which is rarely an ethical gesture.

This is what differentiates Louis Lucano.

All their fancy apples leather bags and other accessories are produced in Italy under fair working conditions. In fact, even their packaging is made in Italy! It is made from 100% sustainable and recycled raw materials, and a portion of all sales are donated to animal welfare organizations.

The founder’s quality standards are very high. She makes nothing but timeless and stylish bags that enhance any outfit, for decades to come.

As all of its apple leather bags are handmade, they are available in limited quantities to avoid overproduction. Surplus material is used for other products, such as card cases. A Louis Lucano handbag is a fashion investment piece that should last for years.

Fast fashion is our enemy

Julia thinks the appreciation for craftsmanship has been lost in today’s society. This is especially true in the fashion industry, where fast industrial fashion still dominates.

With fast fashion, quality never matters, because what is broken can be bought back cheaply and quickly. The biggest problem we face is this, according to Julia. “Many consumers are not informed, there is no transparency. In this context, the questionable working conditions of well-known brands, the exploitation of animals and the planet can be discussed forever.

“That’s exactly where we attack,” she continues. “We not only communicate transparency about the materials, their origins and their production, but we also inform our buyers about the proper care of the products and the handling of the materials, so that each bag can last a lifetime. Our mission is not only to be a fashion brand, but also to bring change to this industry.

And Louis Lucano does exactly that, one apple at a time.

For more information on Louis Lucano luxury apple leather bags, Click here.

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