Sustainability is one thing that is often heard recently. Even various fashion brands also often echo this. For that reason, the Allegorie label launched a collection of bags made from wasted fruits.
“Incorporating fruit and plant fibers into bag-making skin is relatively new,” said Allegorie founder, Heather Jiang, quoted from Marie Claire.
The original idea was to find more creative solutions to reduce waste and encourage recycling.
“We spent several years looking around the world, trying to find the best ingredients. We tried using pineapples, mushrooms, bananas, and did some trials and errors until we developed our own formula.”
The technical challenge of turning food into usable ingredients that look and feel like skin – not to mention, materials that are not environmentally friendly are often more readily available and cheaper to use in fashion.
She noted that she and her co-founder, Jen, often work with smaller, community-based startups to get fruit and produce actual products. Another hurdle they have faced and overcome: the season of supply of raw materials. The good news is, they retain the skin of the fruit, not rot, when there is an adequate supply of fruit.
“Our partner suppliers collect wasted apples from apple or mango orchards that are not sold in supermarkets and [turn them] into ‘skins’ at their facilities,” Jiang said.
“The dyes [used] in the accessories are plant-based or eco-friendly dyes. The actual bag making is in New York.”
Allégorie’s founders received their fruit skins from countries such as Japan, Italy, the Netherlands and Taiwan. They also work to ensure transparent and ethical supply chain processes by visiting the facility themselves and talking to the people who collect the fruit.
To take the eco-friendly angle a step further, the lining inside Allégorie products is made with a combination of plant-based polymer materials and recycled polyester fibers.
“The vegetable part is called a biomass-derived polymer which is made from plants such as corn or sugar cane. The recycled polyester fiber is recycled and made in a very environmentally efficient way which uses 84 percent less energy than traditional ways of producing the same type of material,” she said.