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Stella McCartney introduces Mirum bags: A luxury plant-based alternative to leather

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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A handbag crafted from sustainable material Mirum Credits: Stella McCartney

One could be forgiven for not having heard of Mirum, but it is a new vegan, plastic and animal-free alternative to leather and an important innovation for the fashion industry. British designer Stella McCartney has pioneered the plant-based material into a bonafide accessory collection.

Unlike traditional leather, Mirum is entirely animal-free, plastic-free, and cruelty-free. Developed by Natural Fiber Welding (NFW), it comprises of all-natural, plant-based ingredients, and stands out as the world's first 100 percent recyclable and circular material, capable of returning harmlessly to the Earth as nutrients once its lifecycle is complete.

Stella McCartney's commitment to ethical fashion is well-established; the brand has steadfastly abstained from using leather, fur, feathers, or skins since its inception in 2001. With Mirum, McCartney is now extending her pioneering legacy into a collection that includes the iconic Falabella and Frayme bags, furthering her mission to offer alternatives that are compassionate towards animals and sustainable for the planet.

Launching for Fall 2023

McCartney's Winter 2023 show marked the perfect stage for the introduction of her Falabella and Frayme bags in Mirum. In her own words, "There is no compromise on desirability or durability; the future of fashion has arrived."

The global leather industry, responsible for utilising 1.4 billion animal hides and skins in 2020, comes with significant environmental costs. The tanning processes release toxic chemicals and gases, while cattle farming for leather contributes to deforestation, reducing biodiversity and carbon sinks.

Mirum is meticulously crafted through a three-stage process, using bioneutral and certified biobased ingredients such as natural rubber, plant-based oil, and pigments like biochar and rust. Notably, Mirum avoids plastic use and conserves water by eliminating the need for tanning or additional water inputs. Its environmental impact is substantially lower than conventional leather and synthetic options, with a remarkably reduced carbon footprint.

The resultant Mirum is an opulent leather alternative that boasts suppleness, durability, water resistance, and easy cleaning. The production journey of the Mirum used in the Falabella bag spans from NFW's facility in Peoria, Illinois, to Italy, where it is expertly handcrafted into Stella McCartney accessories. The Falabella handbag features sustainable elements like a recycled brass chain handle, aluminium body chain, zero-waste zamak medallions, and a lining made from recycled polyester sourced from water bottles.

Mirum's emergence is not just a fashion statement; it is a groundbreaking step towards a more compassionate and environmentally conscious future for the fashion industry.

Stella McCartney
Sustainable Fashion