We have created a leather-like, durable and bio-based material that is compostable and vegan. With this campaign we present our first commercially available collection of accessories as rewards.
Author: Zuzana Gombošová
Malai braided bracelet in dark color
Malai tote/backpack in cumin yellow
unisex wallets in leafy green indigo & cutch brown
Unisex wallet in indigo
Ladies wallet in indigo & cutch brown
removable coin pouch inside ladies wallet
ladies wallet in cutch brown
Malai Ana pouches in madder red & leafy green
Malai Ana pouches (set) in leafy green
Malai waist Bag in dark grey
Malai laptop bag in cutch brown + leafy green
the "Robin Hood" bag in dark brown
Malai tote / backpack in cumin yellow
Malai tote / backpack in cumin yellow
Malai tote bag in indigo
Braided bracelets in dark shades
Tote bag designed by Libena Rochova
Interior object designed by Libena Rochova
Sandals made from Malai in Madder Red
We regret that not all the rewards can reach you before Christmas however we can prepare a Christmas voucher for you. If you would like one with the purchase of your reward please let us know in the note.
For photos of rewards in HD please click on this link.
Leather has always been considered a symbol of quality and luxury. However, our rising consumption started to require materials that can be produced faster and cheaper – for example, PU and PVC. Yes, products made from these materials are affordable, but did you know that it takes more than 400 years to decompose in nature? So is it better to return to leather?
Well, even though it is still being used widely in the luxury segment, the fast changing trends are making any kind of product outdated after just a few seasons and people tend to use it on average for only 4-5 years. Moreover, leather processing is extremely chemical and energy intensive and pollutes the environment on many levels.
So is this all worth a single handbag? Do we have to harm nature just because of fashion?
The answer is NO and we have a solution: it´s called Malai, but you can also call it the ‘coconut leather’.
Malai is a newly developed biocomposite material made from bacterial cellulose, grown on agricultural waste sourced from the coconut industry in Southern India. The word “Malai” refers directly to the creamy flesh of the coconut and it is the coconut water (a by-product from harvesting of this flesh) that sustains the bacteria whilst they are producing cellulose, which is then collected and refined until it becomes finished material: Malai.
The selection of our base ingredients is not random: it has been meticulously researched and tested over hundreds of trials and errors. Every ingredient is important for the final properties of Malai. We have committed not to add anything oil-based because we want to maintain the disposal of our materials hassle-free: we designed the end at the beginning.
Our fight for more sustainable design and production is just at the beginning and there ́s more work ahead of us. To supply our material to more customers around the globe we need to mechanize many of the processes. By having better technology we can create a better product and ultimately reduce the negative impact of fashion industry on the environment.
The core of the team consist of Zuzana Gombosova and Susmith Cs. Zuzana comes from Eastern Slovakia. She is a designer specializing in research and development of natural materials. Susmith is a product designer and mechanical engineer who comes from Kerala. Several local employees are involved in the production, but since the beginning of the project, we have been assisted by many people from all over the world (suppliers, production, trainees, external collaborators, consultants, family members...). The whole Malai team worked on the preparation of this campaign together with interns Darina Volochova and Jan Telepovsky. Special thanks go to Petra Kopaskova for the video and Tomas Chrastek for the music and also to Marie Zdráhalová for the product photos.
Working with coconuts is a risky business: one can fall on your head anytime. In addition to coconut karma, there are other challenges related to the weather and the supply of raw materials. We therefore apologize in advance to all supporters for any possible delay in receiving the rewards. However, we'll let you know in advance and you'll be well informed about the shipment process.
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