Founded by Luke Haverhals, Illinois-based Natural Fiber Welding’s first product is Mirum, a leather alternative made from minerals and natural plant-sourced materials such as cork and coconut coir fiber. “Humanity’s dependence on plastic and other petroleum-based products has created a scarcity mind-set that is unsustainable both for everyone’s quality of life and the future of this planet. A new era, one of abundance, will come from the creation of technologies based on sustainable and regenerative methods,” says Haverhals.
Joey Zwillinger, cofounder and co-DEO of Allbirds, says the company is careful to invest in viable solutions. “Our view is that sustainable solutions are only effective if they can reach a mass scale, and many of the experimental alternative “leathers” we surveyed required scientific miracles, and many were too expensive to use commercially at large scale,” he adds.