Indian startup Phool.co has created a vegan alternative to leather made from leftover temple flowers.
The biomaterial company, which also turns floral waste into charcoal-free incense products, described the animal-free leather - dubbed 'fleather' - as a 'game changer' for the fashion industry.
'A perfect substitute for leather'
According to Hindustan Times, Co-founder Ankit Agarwal said: "Intrigued by the formation of a leather-like white layer on unused piles of flowers, our R&D team discovered the growth of a micro-organism which used flower petals as a nutritional source.
"Leather contains collagen which provides it strength and durability, whereas fleather has chitin, a kind of protein, that gives it the same properties. Collagen and chitin are natural analogs, making fleather a perfect substitute for leather."
According to The 2020 Conscious Fashion Report, internet searches for 'vegan leather' have skyrocketed by 69 percent year-on-year.
The data, collected by Lyst in collaboration with GoodOnYOu, shows monthly searches for 'vegan leather' average at 33,100 - while searches for 'faux leather' have stayed the same.
"This data suggests that customers tend to respond more positively to the keyword 'vegan' rather than 'faux'," the report states.
"Demand for 'eco vegan leather' has also been increasing over the past year, showing that shoppers are becoming conscious of the fact that not all vegan options are environmentally friendly."
You can visit Phool.co's website here