Mocha Split

Cradle-to-Cradle bags made of banana peel leather and coffee packaging

The project

Cradle-to-Cradle bags made of banana peel leather and coffee packaging.

THE CHALLENGE
The leather industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world and the number of customers that are reluctant to buy animal leather accessories is growing. A quarter of 25-34 year olds identify themselves as vegan or vegetarian and there has been a 600% increase in people adopting veganism over the past 3 years- There is a need to work and use more and more bio/vegan leather that has the same properties in terms of softness and durability.

In Italy alone, 46 million coffee packaging (a non-recyclable compound of plastic and aluminium) are thrown away every year, and their disposal is a huge environmental problem.

THE SOLUTION
The project represents a new way of interpreting an accessory that combines ethics and aesthetics. It’s part of a circular economy system where materials find new life through high-level artisanal techniques. They intend to replace leather with vegan leather (from banana peel) and offer the market a product that is 100% sustainable and cruelty-free. The interweaving of the coffee packaging allows different patterns to be created and the use of two different innovative materials in the same product means the partnership appeals to those who want to have a unique, exclusive and ethical lifestyle.

 

MERAKY DI EMILIA PAOLICELLI (Italy)

Meraky designs produces and sells innovative fashion and design accessories, brought to life thanks to their idea of using waste as a raw material. They use coffee packaging made of a plastic and aluminium poly-laminate, which normally goes to landfill, as it is non-recyclable, to create new products.

CASA GRIGI (Portugal)

Casa Grigi is a Portuguese start-up founded to develop sustainable materials. Their current focus is on the development of new materials that are adjustable to the circular economy textile market.

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

Meraky being a conscious brand, using animal leather has always bothered us. We are not vegan, nor vegetarian, but we are nonetheless sensitive to the mistreatment of animals and the environmental impact of the tannery industry. Animal skin needs to be preserved and a lot of toxic chemicals are used in the process. These chemicals can end up in soil and water supplies, and can also harm the people working in the tannery industry. Faux leather is not an option, as it’s even more polluting than animal leather.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

Last year we met Monica and her start-up, Casa Grigi, from Portugal and decided to participate in the 3rd call of the Worth Partnership Project. Monica has been working in the development of new materials for 10 years, has 5 patents registered and won several awards, such as “A Design Awards” in 2016. From the start, we knew what kind of partner we were looking for and with what goal: develop a natural material that could replace leather in our creations. There is a trend now of so-called vegan materials, but often they contain synthetic and artificials components that we don’t want to have in our products.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

Together with Casa Grigi, we were able to develop PACOBA.TEX: an innovative, cruelty-free, 100% vegan and natural material, 80% made of banana peels. The rest is secret, but all is natural! When we met her, Monica was already working with bananas and had started exploring the possibilities of developing a new material with it. She was at the very early stages of development and the new material was very fragile. Monica was however very determined and committed to turn it into a stronger and resistant product. She chose bananas as they ripen quite quickly and often, when they get brown and nobody wants to buy them, end up in the garbage. Together, thanks to a partnership that Casa Grigi has established with a portugues supermarket chain, we are helping rescue some of them from a future in the landfill.
The process has not been easy. From the technical point of view, developing a new material is always a challenging process: many tests need to be made, both from the producer’s and the designers’ sides, and several back and forth shipments between Italy and Portugal. Due to the world health crisis, these exchanges have slowed down the entire project, but the final material has finally been finalised and Meraky’s next collection, Mocha Split, was launched on April, 10th 2021 with our first pre-order campaing. The collection will be completed during the second pre-order campaign in June and will include  a unisex backpack (great for cyclers!) and a large shoulder bag. All the accessories will be made out of the new vegan material, with small details with our “signature” coffee packaging interwoven pattern.

THE COLLABORATION:

The partnership with Casa Grigi has been such an enrichment for us, we all got along well from the start, as we share the same objective. Working together on this project has given us insights that we would not have, had we “just” purchased an already-made vegan material. We now know how it is done, how long it takes to be produced and how much care Monica puts is in every single piece she makes. As Meraky does, she puts a piece of her soul in all of her creations.

THE FUTURE:

In order to avoid producing any unnecessary waste, reduce the carbon footprint of shipment from Portugal, and because each sample of the new material and every item of the new collection will be hand-made, we choose to apply a “Made-to-order” sales model. You will have a limited window to place your order and we’ll create each item especially for you: something special you can wait for. This “made for you” philosophy moves the focus
away from fast fashion to human interactions, connecting us with you. We’ll send regular updates so that you can see how your accessory is made, understand and value the artisanal know-how and the uniqueness that lies behind every item.

THE MESSAGE:

For your hands, made by our hands.

 

PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

The vase

The vase

Lumimóza

Lumimóza

3D metal panels

3D metal panels

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

The Vegan Sheep

The Vegan Sheep

Loom-State

Loom-State

Common Sands 2.0

Common Sands 2.0

Maretech

Maretech

Minois

Minois

STEM a garment production brand

STEM a garment production brand

Storytelling Garment Project

Storytelling Garment Project

Mapu Preto

Mapu Preto

Minta

Minta

NO/thing

NO/thing

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

In the Circle

In the Circle

Clotho

Clotho

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

WeAr Design

WeAr Design

Freskos

Freskos

ALMA

ALMA

Bubble Façade

Bubble Façade

Crossing Parallels

Crossing Parallels

EnaOna

EnaOna

SEISMIC GARMENT

SEISMIC GARMENT

Rethinking the Bra

Rethinking the Bra

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Nova Underwear

Nova Underwear

BioChromatic

BioChromatic

Dimmenso

Dimmenso

Beaggie

Beaggie

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

H|H

H|H

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Edge Chair

Edge Chair

Marbled Salts

Marbled Salts

Moseanic

Moseanic

Kombucha TSUGI

Kombucha TSUGI

LiLO

LiLO

The Eastern Side of Riviera

The Eastern Side of Riviera

Future Wardrobe

Future Wardrobe

Ventri

Ventri

FreyZein

FreyZein

SILENCIO

SILENCIO

Re-Print Ceramics

Re-Print Ceramics

Vivid

Vivid

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

Burning For

Burning For

Circular workwear collection

Circular workwear collection

Recontile

Recontile

Fashion Colada

Fashion Colada

SCALA

SCALA

New Matters

New Matters

Not 2 Forget

Not 2 Forget

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Agogic – Be prepared for more

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

Mocha Split

Mocha Split

Reframd

Reframd

Zerobarracento

Zerobarracento

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

Wearable Play

Wearable Play

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Gelatex x NO/AN

Gelatex x NO/AN

Luxury Bag Collection

Luxury Bag Collection

Amalgama

Amalgama

TTorch

TTorch

From the ground

From the ground

Biolea

Biolea

Ultra

Ultra

Capsule coat project

Capsule coat project

Mayya x WORTH

Mayya x WORTH

The Space in Between

The Space in Between

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Fish_Fish

Fish_Fish

Common Sands

Common Sands

UCQC Inclusive

UCQC Inclusive

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Mowo

Mowo

i-Morfé

i-Morfé

Iguaneye

Iguaneye

Ruumy

Ruumy

Fugazi Fugazi

Fugazi Fugazi

Serisole

Serisole

Hi-LAMP

Hi-LAMP

Lucid

Lucid

Senss

Senss

Walkytalkies

Walkytalkies

Sole sustainability

Sole sustainability

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

Spell My Name

Spell My Name

The “Bib” chair

The “Bib” chair

Materia Bruta

Materia Bruta

Planned Space Pooling

Planned Space Pooling

3D knitwear on demand

3D knitwear on demand

Lit Lace Interface

Lit Lace Interface

iluTex

iluTex

Sukka 

Sukka 

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

Unmoist Raincoat

Unmoist Raincoat

IOT Jacket & Robot

IOT Jacket & Robot

Stars Collection

Stars Collection

Words that shimmer

Words that shimmer

Persona

Persona

PULSAR

PULSAR

Identity 560

Identity 560

Øjenfryd

Øjenfryd

The Ghost Bag

The Ghost Bag

Diluci bags

Diluci bags

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Oceanwear

Oceanwear

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

Curve

Curve

Multifunctional Textiles

Multifunctional Textiles

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

‘Parameter’ Table

‘Parameter’ Table

Occay

Occay

KICS

KICS

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

PreemieCme

PreemieCme

Circular Bags

Circular Bags

Clayer

Clayer

Lulu V2

Lulu V2

Fishskinlab

Fishskinlab

Dynaback

Dynaback

Esther Hates PVC

Esther Hates PVC

Gardin

Gardin

Foldable High Heels

Foldable High Heels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Edbora Collection

Edbora Collection

Smart Heated Vest

Smart Heated Vest

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Fragments Garments

Fragments Garments

Hollow: A Lie Story

Hollow: A Lie Story

FWN: Family Wear Nature

FWN: Family Wear Nature

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Spellbound

Spellbound

Wear Pure

Wear Pure

Connextyle

Connextyle

Unlimited in 1

Unlimited in 1

Paramatrix

Paramatrix

Feel More Knitwear

Feel More Knitwear

Skarabeos 2

Skarabeos 2

Twill

Twill

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair