Demand for sustainable alternative leather driving 37.4% CAGR from 2024-2034

Emerging Alternative Leathers 2024-2034: Technologies, Trends, Players

Technology analysis of Mycelium Leather, Plant-based Leather, Microbial Leather, Lab-grown Leather. Sustainable leather market outlook. 10 year vegan bio-based leather market forecast.

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Emerging alternative leather: Answering the demand for sustainable materials
Leather is a ubiquitous, versatile material, used in many diverse applications including footwear, apparel, upholstery and automotive interiors. Animal leather, which the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates exceeds 20 billion square feet in annual production, is prized for its durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. However, animal cultivation is one of the largest single causes of greenhouse gas emissions as well as being the leading cause of deforestation. Growing concerns about the environmental impact, sustainability, and the ethics of using animal hides have driven demand for alternatives from many consumers and brands.
Some brands have shifted to vegan leather - in other words, plastic leather, also called synthetic leather, artificial leather, or faux leather. Plastic leather's low cost has led it to become the dominant alternative for leather applications. However, there are clear sustainability concerns regarding plastic leather's petrochemical feedstocks, problematic disposal, and microplastics. Most plastic leather is disposed into landfills while a concerned amount is mismanaged and released into the environment. As such, plastic leather cannot be the solution to the search for a sustainable alternative to animal leather.
With growing numbers of consumers and brands demanding sustainable leather alternatives, this has driven the emergence of numerous startups attempting to capture a new market for vegan bio-based leather alternative materials. Their materials aim to challenge both animal and plastic leathers for the full range of leather applications, and several fashion brands have begun to explore the utilization of vegan bio-based leather in their product lineup, such as Zara, Burberry, H&M, Hermes, Nike, and Ganni. Many have formed partnerships with the key market players producing vegan bio-based alternatives.
In this report, "Emerging Alternative Leathers 2024-2034: Technologies, Trends, Players", IDTechEx provides comprehensive independent analysis of the trajectory of the vegan bio-based leather market, covering all major market players and emerging technologies. Within the report, IDTechEx discusses and analyzes key brand partnerships formed between brands and vegan leather companies. For example, the report covers the interest in the emergence of vegan leather alternatives by automotive OEMs such as BMW, Bentley, Cupra, Hyundai, Mercedes-Bens, and Volkswagen.
A diverse landscape of emerging alternative leather technologies and players
With investments in alternative leather materials totaling over USD$1 billion, this is a rapidly developing technology landscape to monitor. Companies in the vegan bio-based leather market can be broadly divided into pursuing one of four major technology categories identified by IDTechEx:
  • Mycelium leather
  • Plant-based leather
  • Microbial leather
  • Lab-grown leather
Within this report, IDTechEx has identified over 70 companies developing vegan bio-based leather alternatives to animal and plastic leather. Most of these have emerged within the last 3-5 years and range from small exploratory startups to companies that have secured hundreds of millions in funding to begin scaling of production. Some strong market players in both mycelium leather and plant-based leather are at the precipice of scaling production and opening large scale factories for their materials.
The complex vegan bio-based leather market landscape has been comprehensively broken down with technologies analyzed and compared. IDTechEx has identified market leaders such as Von Holzhausen, MycoWorks, Piñatex, Desserto, and Ecovative among others and outlined prospects for each technology category. This analysis has been informed by IDTechEx's interview-based company profiles with market leaders and new entrants.
Through this assessment of the player landscape, IDTechEx expects market leaders to grow significantly while further new companies will continue to enter the sustainable vegan leather market due to its nascent stage and promising outlook.
Assessing the current status of emerging alternative leathers
The performance requirements of leather applications vary depending on their application. These applications are wide ranging and include footwear, fashion, apparel, upholstery, and automotive. Some bio-based leathers have met the standards and appearance requirements of incumbent leather, but there is scope across the industry for improved material properties.
IDTechEx's material benchmarking studies evaluated bio-based leather materials on factors such as price, material strength, durability, and appearance. The diverse market landscape contains a large array of available products which differ in material properties, and IDTechEx has comprehensively benchmarked these products to allow readers to understand the current status of these materials.
Additionally, when assessing these materials, consideration should be made of the technology readiness level and the ability to scale production. These will determine whether a company can become a choice material for consumers and manufacturers while remaining competitive on price. IDTechEx has considered the technology readiness level of many different companies from each bio-based leather type to assess the outlook for the industry.
10 year emerging alternative leather market forecast
Using extensive primary and secondary research, IDTechEx has constructed a 10-year market forecast for vegan bio-based leather where production capacity is expected to grow with a CAGR of 37.4% over the forecast period. The forecast is accompanied by commentary on the expected outlook for mycelium leather, plant-based leather, microbial leather and lab-grown leather.
Key aspects:
  • Detailed breakdown of the key market drivers for emerging alternative including consumer behavior, environmental impact, and brand actions.
  • Recent developments in the emerging alternative leather market.
  • A detailed breakdown of the manufacturing processes of animal leather and plastic leather, trends in production methods, major manufacturers.
  • An overview of leather recycling, discussion of bonded leather, production methods of recycled leather.
  • 70+ companies identified in the alternative leather market.
  • Identification of four major emerging alternative leather technologies, including mycelium, plant-based, microbial, and lab-grown as well as other technologies.
  • Detailed breakdown of production processes and technology readiness, SWOT analysis. Discussion of sustainable coatings and dyes, adaptation of incumbent technologies in the manufacture of alternative bio-based leathers.
  • Benchmarking of material properties, technology readiness, price, appearance, and scalability for individual companies.
  • Commercial and application analysis, including identification of brand partnerships and discussion of fashion applications, furnishings, and leather for automotive interiors.
  • 10-year market forecasts for emerging alternative leathers. Identification of major trends for emerging alternative leather technologies.
Report MetricsDetails
CAGRThe production of vegan bio-based leathers is expected to grow by 37.4% CAGR from 2024 to 2034.
Forecast Period2024 - 2034
Forecast UnitsMillions of square meters
Regions CoveredWorldwide
Segments CoveredVegan bio-based leather, plastic leather, animal leather
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Table of Contents
1.1.Introduction to emerging alternative leathers
1.2.Incumbent leather technologies
1.3.Leather terminology
1.4.Key drivers for emerging alternative leathers
1.5.Types of sustainable alternative leathers
1.6.Mycelium leather - product description and commercial analysis
1.7.Plant-based leather - product description and commercial analysis
1.8.Microbial leather - Product description and commercial analysis
1.9.Lab grown leather - Product description and commercial analysis
1.10.SWOT analysis of emerging alternative leathers
1.11.Major application areas for emerging alternative leathers
1.12.Go-to-market strategy for emerging alternative leathers
1.13.Leather size requirements by application area
1.14.Restraints for sustainable alternative leathers
1.15.Investment landscape for emerging alternative leathers
1.16.Recent developments in the emerging alternative leather market
1.17.IDTechEx benchmarking of emerging alternative leathers
1.18.Emerging alternative leather market forecast
1.19.Emerging alternative leather market forecast
1.20.Trends for emerging alternative leather
1.21.Key findings on emerging alternative leather
1.22.Company profiles
2.2.Introduction to emerging alternative leathers
2.3.Incumbent leather technologies
2.4.Leather terminology
2.5.Key drivers for emerging alternative leathers
2.6.Market driver: The environmental impact of leather production
2.7.Market driver: The environmental impact of rearing livestock
2.8.Market driver: Consumer concerns
2.9.Market driver: Problems with plastic leather
2.10.Market driver: Regulatory drivers for alternative leather
2.11.Market driver: Brand actions driving change
2.12.Restraints for sustainable alternative leathers
3.1.Animal leather overview
3.2.Animal leather overview
3.3.Animal leather - manufacturing processes
3.4.Animal leather manufacturing process flowchart
3.5.Leather cuts and coatings overview
3.6.Leather coatings overview
3.7.Leather cuts and applications
3.8.Leather tanning overview
3.9.Leather requirements for fashion accessories
3.10.Evolving tanning requirements
3.11.Disposal of animal leather
3.12.Global leather production by animal source
4.1.Plastic leather overview
4.2.Sustainability trends in plastic leather
4.3.Plastic leather overview - continued
4.4.Plastic leather - manufacturing processes
4.5.Plastic leather - wet vs dry production methods
4.6.Global plastic leather production
5.1.Leather recycling overview
5.2.Life cycle of leather and recycling
5.3.Leather recycling processes - bonded leather production
5.4.Leather recycling processes - hydroentanglement method
5.5.State of technology development for recycled leathers
5.6.Recycled leather: SWOT analysis
6.1.1.Types of sustainable alternative leathers
6.1.2.Comparison of sustainable alternative leathers - production processes
6.2.Mycelium Leather
6.2.1.Mycelium leather overview
6.2.2.Mycelium leather - production process
6.2.3.Inoculation of the mycelium
6.2.4.Growing mycelium - conditions
6.2.5.Processing mycelium into leather
6.2.6.Tanning and dyeing of mycelium leather
6.2.7.Ecovative Design - Forager Hides
6.2.8.State of technology development and market for mycelium leather
6.2.9.Mycelium leather: SWOT analysis
6.2.10.State of technology development for mycelium leather
6.3.Plant-based Leather
6.3.1.Plant-based leather overview
6.3.2.Plant-based leather - production processes
6.3.3.Plant-based leather - textile-based production process
6.3.4.Plant-based leather - bio-composite production process
6.3.5.Plant-based leather: Sourcing feedstock
6.3.6.Processing of plant fibers for leather
6.3.7.Textile backings made from plant-based materials
6.3.8.Plant-based leather: SWOT analysis
6.3.9.Plant-based leather - company landscape
6.3.10.State of technology development for plant-based leather
6.4.Microbial Leather
6.4.1.Microbial leather overview
6.4.2.Microbial leather - production process
6.4.3.Microbial leather - fermentation conditions
6.4.4.Microbial leather - harvest and finishing
6.4.5.Microbial leather: SWOT analysis
6.4.6.State of technology development for microbial leather
6.5.Lab Grown Leather
6.5.1.Lab grown leather overview
6.5.2.Lab grown leather - production process
6.5.3.Lab grown leather: Cell biopsy and culture
6.5.4.Corium Biotech
6.5.5.VitroLabs Inc
6.5.6.Lab grown leather: SWOT analysis
6.5.7.State of technology development for lab grown leather
6.6.Other technologies
6.6.1.Protein-based leather
6.6.2.Mycelium powder-based leather
6.6.3.Sustainable coatings and dyes for leather
6.6.4.Plant-based coatings for leather - Von Holzhausen
7.1.Definitions of material properties relevant to leather
7.2.Selected performance standards for leather by application area - ISO, ASTM, AATCC
7.3.Selected performance standards for leather by application area - LHCA
7.4.Comparison of emerging alternative leathers - physical properties and performance
7.5.Compiled data on materials properties of emerging alternative leathers
7.6.Material properties of emerging alternative leathers: tear strength
7.7.Material properties of emerging alternative leathers: Tear strength
7.8.Material properties of emerging alternative leathers: Tensile strength
7.9.Material properties of emerging alternative leathers: Tensile strength
7.10.Material properties of emerging alternative leathers: Bally flexing
7.11.Material properties of emerging alternative leathers: Bally flexing
8.1.Considerations in comparing alternative leather materials
8.2.Benchmarking metric: Appearance
8.3.Benchmarking metric: Plastic content
8.4.Benchmarking metric: Price
8.5.Benchmarking metric: Technology readiness level
8.6.Benchmarking metric: Scalability
8.7.IDTechEx benchmarking of emerging alternative leathers
8.8.Benchmarking: Plant-based leathers
8.9.Benchmarking: Mycelium based leathers
8.10.Benchmarking: Microbial leather and other
8.11.Comparison of sustainable alternative leathers - price of commercial products
8.12.Price vs plastic content in plant-based leathers
9.1.Company and Investment Landscape
9.1.1.Sustainable alternative leathers - company landscape
9.1.2.State of technology development for sustainable alternative leathers
9.1.3.Business models for sustainable alternative leather players
9.1.4.Investment landscape for emerging alternative leathers
9.1.5.Investment landscape of emerging alternative leathers by company
9.1.6.Evolving focus: Bolt Threads and Modern Meadow
9.1.7.Scaling production: Bolt Threads
9.1.8.Intellectual property landscape: Mycelium leather
9.2.Applications for Emerging Alternative Leathers
9.2.1.Applications of emerging alternative leathers
9.2.2.Go-to-market strategy for emerging alternative leathers
9.2.3.Requirements for automotive leather
9.2.4.Commercial activity in emerging alternative leathers: Overview
9.2.5.Commercial activity in emerging alternative leathers: Limited launches/collections
9.2.6.Commercial activity in sustainable alternative leathers: Higher volume applications
9.2.7.Recent developments in the emerging alternative leather market
10.1.Forecast methodology
10.2.Emerging alternative leather market forecast
10.3.Emerging alternative leather market forecast
10.4.Trends for emerging alternative leather
10.5.Trends for emerging alternative leather
11.1.Emerging alternative leather market forecast
11.2.Emerging alternative leather market forecast
11.3.Key players in the leather recycling market
11.4.Key players in the leather recycling market
11.5.Mycelium-based leather company list
11.6.Mycelium-based leather company list
11.7.Plant-based leathers company list
11.8.Plant-based leathers company list
11.9.Plant-based leathers company list
11.10.Plant-based leathers company list
11.11.Microbial leather companies list
11.12.Lab grown leather companies list

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Report Statistics

Slides 175
Forecasts to 2034
Published Jan 2024
ISBN 9781835700082

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