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Leather-like material is made from discarded flowers

EcoNote | December 12, 2022 | By:

Designed by Irene Purasachit, flaux is “floral leather”, an alternative to animal leather made from flower petals and cellulose. Photo: Aalto University.

“Flaux” is a new textile, leather-like material that uses waste from commercially produced flowers as its main ingredient and dye. The project was part of Aalto University’s “The Wardrobe of the Future” exhibition, which was organized to support the reimagining of fashion for a sustainable future. 

A few years ago, Irene Purasachit, who was then a design student at Aalto University, began to reflect on the aftermath of wedding ceremonies in her home country of Thailand, where flowers ended up in trash piles after the ceremonies. She subsequently attended a biomaterial course where she developed a method for drying, grinding and mixing petals into pulp. In the next step, the pulp was pressed into a material resembling leather which can be used to replace animal leather in garments and accessories. 

Purasachit has also planned flower workshops in Thailand where locals learn to combine raw materials, materials manufacturing, design and sales into a whole value chain, creating new, sustainable jobs for themselves. She is negotiating with a German boutique shoe manufacturer to make use of her product. 

Aalto University is located in Espoo, Finland. 

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