An Oxford University student has co-founded a vegan leather business to benefit the planet and rural Colombian farmers The vegan leather is completely biodegradable, and claims to be both better for the planet and for rural Colombian farmers. - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Oxford University Student Starts Up Vegan Leather Brand

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2 Minutes Read

A student studying at Oxford University in the UK has co-founded a vegan leather brand made from biodegradable materials.

Gabriel Moreno, an MSC student, started up Fiquetex with his father over shared concerns for the environment.

Biodegradable

Fique fibers grown from plants are used to make Fiquetex vegan leather, meaning it is completely natural and biodegradable.

Ingredients to make other types of vegan leather include wine waste, fruit, and plastic.

In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Gabriel said: “When we saw research predicting that there will be more plastic bags than fish in the sea by 2050, we knew that we had to make a change.”

“Fiquetex’s vegan leather reduces the need for cows, which produce 100kg of methane a year per cow and require a substantial amount of land.

“Our vegan leathers provide a cruelty-free alternative to harming animals or damaging their habitats in terms of pollution and waste both on land and in the sea.”

Co-founder Alex Moreno alongside fique plants, the fiber of which he and his son Gabriel use to create their vegan leather brand

Supporting farmers

Fique fibre isn’t currently sold at its ‘full potential’, says Gabriel.

He said: “We will help provide employment in rural areas of Colombia where the Fique is grown, giving local farmers the skills and resources needed to produce and work sustainably.

“It also provides a much-needed alternative to illicit crops and drug production.” Moreover, farmers get a better income.

Environmentally friendly

The production process, he said, uses 10 percent less energy than plastic leathers including polyurethane and vinyl.

The vegan leather business will boom by 2025, a report claimed. Over the next four years, the global market will be worth $89.6 billion.

Oxford University’s commitment

Oxford University has pledged to better care for the planet.

Last year, the student union voted in favor of banning beef and lamb to help reach reduced carbon emission targets.

For more information about the Fiquetex, visit the website here.

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The Author

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.

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