The biofabrication age has arrived and according to New Jersey-based bio-advanced materials developer, Modern Meadow, it will start next year soft commercial launches of products made from its first biofabricated leather material under the brand name Zoa™.
I was able to attend Modern Meadow’s pop-up exhibit here in New York City (SoHo) to see for myself what this biofabricated leather made from yeast-based collagen looks like and how it feels to the touch. You can check out my twitter and instagram feed for some live shots of my visit at their pop-up exhibit.
Given my penchant for leather goods, I was amazed at the similarity in the grainy texture compared to animal leather, but more so on the versatility and application potential of this liquid material. With this biofabricated leather, Modern Meadow said you can pour, spray paint, use 3D printing, make it thick, thin, etc., and do any other special treatments that you cannot do with traditional leather.
Modern Meadow is currently partnering with world-class brands across luxury and consumer goods categories to grow products of Zoa. The company intends to use toll companies for the fermentation part of the process (yeast to collagen fibrils), and noted that it does not have any problem using any type of sugar feedstock for its genetically-engineered yeast. The company itself will manufacture the biofabricated material from collagen fibrils.
The leather industry is reportedly a $100bn global market.
Modern Meadow will publicly unveil its leather in the next month—in the form of a “reimagined” graphic T-shirt—it will not be at a store but at a fashion exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art from October 1 to January 28. Modern Meadow is also holding a pop-up exhibit in SoHo now through October 12th to showcase a broader range of material prototypes.
I think it’s time to do a more comprehensive article on biofabricated materials for Tecnon OrbiChem’s Biomaterials report…