Guys, Mark Ruffalo just tweeted about this and seeing as he has ‘an eye on a better, brighter, cleaner, more hopeful future for all of us.’ I think we need to take this serious: leather made from fruit, it’s real (and almost here).
Bad news first, the fruit leather is not yet available for sale. A fruit leather handbag was made (and looks slightly odd but fun if you ask me), but the project team is really just in that exploring different options phase.
Fruitleather Rotterdam, is the name of the project started by a collective of students from the Willem de Kooning art academy in, you guessed it, Rotterdam. The students, always eager to solve a problem using design, noticed the tons of food that got wasted at the end of the market day when vendors packed up their stalls. Officially the vendors pay a fee per kilo to get the unsellable food discarded, which led to a large amount of illegal dumping to avoid these fees. There had to be a design way for solving this problem..
How it works exactly, is a secret of the trade. Apparently they mash the fruit and take all the seeds out. Then it’s all cooked, to kill bacteria and prevent the fruit from rotting. Finally, the fruits are dried to make them into the ‘leather’.
“What we want to achieve with this project is to create awareness for the problem that is food waste, and show that there is a solution. We want to work together with companies and organizations to make the material better and better and create a wide variety of products.”
So it’s not for sale yet, though I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years time we see fruit leather everywhere. The group is determined to find as many uses as possible and reportedly already has attracted attention from a car seat producer. (Which sure does make you hope they found a way to eliminate the rotten smell..!)
More info can be found here and you can keep up with the project here!