World's First Lab Made Leather Debuts In NYC

The biotechnology firm uses yeast cell lines that produce animal-free collagen
The tech company grows fabric using yeast cell lines that produce animal-free collagen (Photo: Modern Meadow)

A company that developed biofabricated, animal-free leather has unveiled the result at an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

Biotechnology firm Modern Meadow, which used engineered yeast which produces collagen that makes fabric look like cow leather, is currently exhibiting an animal-free leather shirt at MoMA, as part of the 'Items: Is Fashion Modern?' show.

The company has made it clear that it doesn't want to imitate leather; instead, it wants to reimagine leather, transcending the physicial limits of a cow.


The graphic T-shirt 'will change the way you think about leather', according to David Williamson, the company's chief technology officer.

Modern Meadow's Chief Creative Officer Suzanne Lee says: "Our technology enables designers to explore materials in exciting new ways, enabling never-seen-before functionality, aesthetics, and performance possibilities.

"We are thrilled to be showcasing an example of our creative materials technology at MoMA, an institution respected worldwide for its dedication to design innovation and creative expression."

The shirt will be on display at MoMA until January 28, and the company will also be hosting a pop-up until October 12 in SoHo to exhibit a wider range of items from its animal-free collection.


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Diana is a London-based writer dedicated to bringing you the latest updates in ethical consumerism and plant-based nutrition. She is a recent media graduate with extensive journalistic experience, and writes in hopes of changing the narrative. You can follow Diana on Instagram and Twitter @dianalupica

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