Vegan leather, partly because of Fast Fashion Multis using the term to greenwash its cheap plastic products (while pricing them higher), has a bit of a bad rep in ethical fashion cycles. Which is a shame, as data indicates that in general, vegan successor materials outperform the outdated original — not only when it comes to their impact on the planet, but (obviously so) on the lives of animals.
But that does not mean there’s no room for improvement. Vegan fashion, just like vegan food, is a playground where, by limiting the use of go-to materials used everywhere else, real innovation is fostered. And that innovation is now here.
The focal material of Brave GentleMan’s new collection is Mirum, developed by Natural Fiber Welding. It’s an innovative, low-carbon, all-natural textile with uncanny versatility. Mirum has the ability to replicate the look of an array of materials, all different in look and feel, i.e. leather or carbon fiber. What’s more, the life cycle of products are optimized, since they can either be recycled into new Mirum textile or returned to the earth.
When a material innovation like that meets a brand like Brave GentleMan, exciting things can happen!
Established in 2010 by designer Joshua Katcher, Brave GentleMan is the world’s first vegan menswear brand, known for delivering classic, high-quality fashion and footwear. Some of its shoe styles have been refined year after year, making them new classics — which have now been reimagined in Mirum for this capsule collection, together with one brand new style, the Sculpture Sneaker.
All shoes are made at a cutting-edge all-vegan shoe factory in Brazil, and come with fairly harvested rubber and a cork insole.
The future is here
This collection is a first glance into the future of material innovation — a topic Brave GentleMan designer Joshua Katcher wrote about for Antagonist in the past.
It seems like that future is right around the corner, and owning a piece of this first capsule collection might mean owning a piece of modern fashion history.
This article was first published on Antagonist on August 30. To find the original version, click here.