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Peruvian startup Le Qara has created a vegan alternative to leather that’s biodegradable, zero-waste, and made from microorganisms.

The brand recently made it to the finals of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition – and scooped $55,000 last year when winning the Latam 100K competition in November.

‘High quality’

Founded by sisters Jacqueline and Isemar Cruz, the company describes its vegan leather as ‘high quality [and] high resistance’ with the ‘same breathability as animal leather’.

The ‘slaughter-free’ material is made from microorganisms that are fed plant and fruit residue – which is then bio-engineered in order to change its texture and thickness.

The leftover residue can then be used as a liquid compost – making the process completely zero-waste and circular.

‘Polluting industry’

According to Contxto, CEO Jacqueline Cruz said: “The leather industry is the fourth most polluting industry [in the world].

“It kills nearly four billion animals. It uses 400 billion liters of water [anually]. For example, to make a pair of leather shoes you need approximately 8,000 liters of water.”

You can find out more about Le Qara here and follow them on Instagram here

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.