Eco friendly sustainable material that feels like leather is here! Malai, a startup company in Kerala is making leather out of agricultural waste; coconut water.
Malai collaborated with farmers and processing companies in Kerala to use discarded coconut water after which coconut flesh is removed from mature coconuts. This coconut water is cultured to create the cellulose.
This cellulose in its raw form is then processed by adding plant based fibres from hemp, sisal and banana fibres to create its unique textures and toughen up its durability. Natural colour dyes are also used to create an arrays of colours.
In addition, they are also made water resistance by applying a mixture of natural oil and air dried to resemblance leather properties. However, with it natural composition it is also sensitive to humidity just like leather. Applying a thin layer of furniture grade wax or even coconut oil to the surface helps to ensure that it remains moisturized.
The unique texture and colours is a perfect conversation starter and strap pairing for these is not difficult at all! Seen here are straps in 20mm/18mm buckle. Image above is the madder red on a Tudor BB58 that matches perfectly with the vintage accent. Click here to view the Coconut Leather Strap.
To further extend to the eco friendly theme, the backing of the strap are in alcantara material that is suede like. But, if you like to have a leather backing, leave a note when you check out!