Author Archives: Henry Waldo

Modern Meadow Startup Developing Real-Synthetic Leather

Leather briefcases for men

It sounds like something of an oxymoron, but it’s a startlingly truthful statement. According to, Modern Meadow, a Brooklyn-based startup company, recently received another round of investment funding – reportedly around $40 million – as they continue to develop sustainable leather materials that are essentially real leather, except it’s made without the hide of a cow.

By using living cells that produce collagen and proteins, the startup has had success creating a biologically identical version of leather you would get from a cow’s hide without the actual cow itself. Things like leather briefcases, leather keychains, and leather belts, will be able to be made without any actual animals. Sounds kind of crazy, but it’s backed by science.

“Growing leather without an animal might seem futuristic but at Modern Meadow we?re making it reality,” the company’s website reads. “Biofabrication enables us to grow nature?s materials using living cells instead of animals. “Depending on the desired features, we design and engineer the material to deliver the right structural and aesthetic properties. We then tan and finish it through an efficient, ecologically mindful process to give the material its final character.”

Their site goes on to explain in scientific detail just how the process works, which you can check out here. Basically, they manipulate DNA to manufacture collagen and then put the DNA in cells where it’s multiplied. The end result is a material that’s, well, leather for all intents and purposes. It can be made into leather briefcases, for example. Except for you didn’t have to kill a cow to get it.

Cowhide is typically the thickest leather, ranging between 1-ounce and 12-ounce varieties. According to Chief Creative Officer, Suzanne Lee, the process allows for the material to be tweaked for thickness, flexibility, elasticity, etc.

This process could have a big impact on more than just animal rights though. The meat/leather industry has long been derided for the detrimental effects they can have on the environment and potential breeding ground for “super bacteria.”

“Leather, which represents a $100-billion raw material market, has always been prized for its beauty, functionality and enduring status,” said Modern Meadow chief executive officer and co-founder Andras Forgacs in a press release. “At Modern Meadow, we’re re-imagining this millennia-old material to create revolutionary new features without harming animals or the environment.” References. See this link for more references.

29 Jun 2016

Classy, Durable And Easy To Match Leather Totes, Jackets And Boots

Leather belts

Looking for a simple and snazzy way of upgrading your look? Look no further than leather totes and leather backpacks. This material has been around for many thousands of years, famed for its durability and flexibility throughout more cultures than you can shake a stick at. The fashion industry in the West has seen a significant overhaul of leather totes for women and satchels, attempting to keep up with demand as people become more fashion-forward and economically savvy. After all, first impressions go a long way and a smooth leather wallet can mean the difference between snagging that promotion and falling into obscurity! Let’s take a look at leather goods, their history and simple tips for taking care of your leather products.

Ancient History Of Fine Leather Goods

Just like fine wine, leather goods of all shapes and sizes have only gotten better with time. The Roman Empire was widely known for using sails made out of leather, rather than the more typical cloth, alongside their furniture, tents, weapons and body armor. It wasn’t until an estimated 1,000 years later that leather was worn as a fashion item by Egyptian women rather than a useful and flexible everyday material. European designers, such as Versace and Armani, have risen to the forefront as passionate competitors in the 1980’s and have set the bar for many everyday products.

Leather In The 1900’s

Due to historical proximity, leather is more frequently associated with multiple periods in the 1900’s. The aviator jacket worn by General Patton in World War II, for example, has become an iconic image in many a fashion brand and movement around the country and you would be hard pressed not to find recreations at your average mall outlet. James Dean has also been credited for his striking black leather jacket, influencing both the music world and fashion industry well into the modern day. The average consumer nowadays will wear at least four different leather products at any given time! The year 2009 saw leather belts alone bringing in $92 million, which is nothing to say of your average pair of boots or gloves.

Durability And Longevity

It’s not hard to see why people gravitate to leather products, be they leather totes, wallets, shoes or belts. Their durability to the elements is well-documented and continuous use can actually make leather stronger rather than weaker. However, they’re far from invincible! Exposure to long periods of low humidities (below 40%, for example) can cause leather to become desiccated — this will irreversibly change the structure of the leather and make it weak. The majority of leather can be put into four categories, with full-grain and to-grain often offering the highest level of quality. These are generally used for jackets, pants and various accessories.

Stylish And Classy

There’s nothing quite like leather to take your outfit from ‘acceptable’ to ‘astonishing’. They come in a wealth of pleasant and evocative neutrals, from rusty red to smooth brown to shimmering black, and can be paired with just about any fashion style or approach. Decorating with leather goods has only become more popular as of recent years, according to leather accessories specialist Absolute Breton, and the luxury industry is seeing an influx in leather messenger bags and leather briefcases. Remember to clean your leather products every six months or so to prevent soiling and spotting, as leather can easily soak up oils and grease.

Upgrading Your Look

Giving your appearance an overhaul is as easy as investing in a new tote or belt, as leather still signifies a classy and mature appearance that can go a long way in your everyday life. Looking to spice up your social life and start dating again? Trying for a promotion? Nothing signifies your intent quicker than your ensemble. Dating site surveys have shown an overwhelming majority agreeing that a first impression is ‘the most important’, while a job can be potentially lost if your employer feels you’re not putting your best foot forward. With fashion industries everywhere investing more and more in evocative leather totes and stylish footwear, you’ll never be short of options for reinvention. What fashion ideas are you getting for your wardrobe today?

01 Jun 2016

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01 Jan 2012