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MM: Pioneering a Future in Sustainable Fashion

Updated: Mar 11

Faced with the environmental impact of vegan leather (Mercado), MM stands out by blending style with sustainability. Here, we explore the ecological issues of traditional vegan leather and showcase how MM’s eco-innovations are redefining the fashion and leather industry's standards.


a showcase of a variety of alternative leather from MM Limited


Unveiling the Truth: The Environmental Dilemma of Vegan Leather 


While vegan leather is often touted as an eco-friendly alternative, its environmental impact tells a different story. A significant portion of vegan leather consists of 30-50% plastics, predominantly polyurethane (PU) and, to a lesser extent, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polylactic acid (PLA). Despite the appeal of



PLA as a biodegradable option derived from renewable resources, its degradation requires specific industrial conditions often not found in natural environments, leading to pollution and waste. PU, favored for its lightweight and economical price , is non-biodegradable and involves toxic chemicals in its production, posing health and environmental risks (Atiwesh et al.). 


an example of ocean filled plastic pollution

Additionally, the production of these materials can lead to deforestation,

biodiversity loss, and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Despite advancements in sustainable materials like cactus or apple, the widespread use of plastic in vegan leather remains a critical environmental issue. These products contribute to long-term pollution, with vegan leather items lingering in landfills for decades, releasing microplastics into ecosystems over time, affecting food safety and marine life. 


The urgent need for genuine sustainability extends beyond fashion to all sectors utilizing synthetic materials. As markets worldwide continue to evolve, it’s imperative for consumers and producers across industries to demand higher standards and transparency. This collective effort is crucial to fostering the development of materials that are truly eco-friendly and sustainable, ensuring a healthier planet for future generations.



MM: Revolutionizing Sustainability with #AlternativeLeather


In the quest for sustainable materials, MM leads with innovation, introducing #AlternativeLeather that redefines the ethos of eco-friendly design. As the vegan leather industry grapples with environmental challenges, MM stands out, not just observing but actively driving change with their groundbreaking material. 


MM’s ‘alternative leather’ is a game changer in the realm of sustainable fashion. Made from a blend of BCI-certified cotton and FSC-certified paper, this innovative material boasts a 90.6% biodegradation degree, indirectly surpassing the vegan leather industry’s average of 30% biodegradation (Lorenz). By completely eliminating plastics from their production process, MM has not only reduced harm but also set a new benchmark for eco-conscious materials.


a showcase of cardholders from MM Limited

With 100% plastic-free composition, MM’s #AlternativeLeather is currently making waves in the world of wallets and bags, setting a new standard for luxury accessories. Even with its biodegradable nature, it doesn’t compromise on quality or style. The material offers diverse textures and patterns, matching the luxe feel of real leather. These features show MM’s commitment to the highest standards of aesthetics and environmental responsibility. 


As the conversation around biodegradable materials gain momentum, MM is leading the charge. Their product isn’t just a sustainable option; it’s a beacon for the future of eco-friendly luxury. By merging elegance with environmental stewardship, MM invites the industry and consumers to embrace a new standard where being fashionable is synonymous with being eco-conscious. 


The following comparative graph highlights the tangible impacts of MM’s #AlternativeLeather, showcasing its superior environmental performance compared conventional vegan and real leathers. 



#AlternativeLeather vs Vegan Leather vs Real Leather


MM

Vegan Leather

Real Leather

Sustainable & Biodegradable (ISO 14855-1)

Plastic-Free

Toxic-Free

X

Animal Cruelty-Free

Aroma & Patina/Vintage Look

Optional Thickness (down to 0.3mm)



How does MM’s #AlternativeLeather differentiate from vegan leather?


MM has revolutionized the leather industry with its sustainable approach, distinguishing itself from both real leather and other vegan leather options. The use of natural tannins is at the heart of MM's innovation, derived from plant sources like roots, wood, bark, leaves and fruit (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica). These tannins, traditionally used in leather tanning and fabric dyeing, play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of MM's leather (Mustafa et al.) .


Unlike many vegan leathers that can have an unpleasant, chemical-like smell (Stitch), MM's products possess a natural, musky aroma. This difference in scent is because MM's leather is made from organic materials,  where natural tannins are already present within MM’s paper layer. As a result, MM's leather does not only smell better but also develops a beautiful patina, an aging quality often cherished in high-quality leather goods.


In contrast, the odor of some vegan leathers is due to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are used during their manufacturing. These synthetic-based materials cannot develop the same natural patina and are often described as having a fishy or chemical scent (Stitch; Blackwell).


Beyond just the look and smell, MM is committed to safety and environmental responsibility. MM collaborates exclusively with factories that supply to well-known international brands, ensuring strict adherence to substance restrictions under REACH (a European Union regulation) and the California Proposition 65. This means MM's leather products are free from harmful toxins, making them a safe and eco-friendly choice for consumers.


By choosing MM, customers enjoy the best of both worlds: the classic appeal of real leather and the eco-conscious, health-safe benefits of modern innovation.



Embrace Change: A Sustainable Future Awaits


As we navigate towards a greener and more sustainable future, our awareness of environmental impact deepens. Increasingly, consumers are demanding products that reflect their eco-conscious values, spurring a demand for real sustainable options. MM leads this charge with its #PlasticFree #AlternativeLeather, revolutionizing the industry and inspiring a new standard of environmental accountability. Choosing MM’s #AlternativeLeather means opting for style and quality while making a decisive vote for a cleaner, greener planet. It's a commitment to preserving our singular Earth. Let's unite in this transformative journey towards a future where fashion and sustainability exist in perfect harmony. By embracing MM’s #AlternativeLeather, you become an integral part of the shift towards responsible fashion – saving the world mm by MM. #Earthday








Author: MM Limited

Date: Jan 26 2024





Citations:

1 Atiwesh, Ghada, et al. “Environmental Impact of Bioplastic Use: A Review.” Heliyon, vol. 7, no. 9, Sept. 2021, p. e07918. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e07918.


2 The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Tannin | Definition, in Plants, Uses, and Facts.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2 Dec. 2023, www.britannica.com/science/tannin.


3 Mustafa, Mohd Tamizi, et al. “Sustainable Leather Tanning With Pontederia Crassipes Tannin: A Promising Eco-friendly Alternative.” Cleaner Engineering and Technology, Dec. 2023, p. 100717. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clet.2023.100717.


4 Stitch, Cut And. “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Vegan Leather - Cut www.cutandstitch.com/blog/2021/03/28/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-vegan-leather.and Stitch.” Cut And Stitch, 28 Mar. 2021, 


5 Blackwell, Sophia. “How to Get Rid of Vegan Leather Smell: Freshen Up!” Sewing Team, 1 Jan. 2024, sewingteam.com/how-to-get-rid-of-vegan-leather-smell.


6 Mercado, Angely. “Is ‘Vegan’ Leather Really Better for the Planet?” Popular Science, 16 Aug. 2021, www.popsci.com/environment/leather-sustainability-ethics.


7 Williams, Ellie, et al. “Life Cycle Assessment of MycoWorks’ ReishiTM: The First Low-carbon and Biodegradable Alternative Leather.” Environmental Sciences Europe, vol. 34, no. 1, Dec. 2022, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12302-022-00689-x.


8 Lorenz, Paula. “Marketing Hype or Reality? Why Plant-and-Plastic Hybrids Are the Worst of Both Worlds.” The Circular Laboratory, 2 Nov. 2021, thecircularlaboratory.com/marketing-hype-why-plant-and-plastic-hybrids-are-the-worst-of-both-worlds.


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