La Provence is talking about us and how we’re valorising the organic waste of our local vineyards. It’s a really nice article because it looks into why we’re on a mission to clean up the fashion industry with our grape leather alternative material, where we’re at with it and how we’re pushing forward. We’ve translated what’s going on for you below, just in case English is easier for you…. You never know!
It all stems back to Samantha Mureau, the founder of Planet of the Grapes and how she was a once upon time fashion buyer for the one and only British clothing chain, Topshop, over 20 years ago and when the world of what is known as “fast fashion” today, was a very different retail and fashion landscape back then.
It was when the drastic crashing of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh happened, on the 24th April 2013, killing 1127 workers and in particular women machinists, that Samantha had a pivotal moment with the fashion industry. We had gone too far. Why were people dying making our clothes?
“We had gone too far. Why were people dying making our clothes?”, Samantha Mureau
Jump forward 9 years, with lots of research, learning and teaching Sustainability and Fashion in the local Universities and in 2022, Planet of the Grapes, was set up, in Aix en Provence, in the South of France.
Today we’re working directly with 8 organic vineyards and we take their grape marc, which includes the grape skins, seeds and even the stalks and we give it a second life. What with over 2.2 million tons of grape marc or “waste” created annually in France alone, there is a lot of potential!
Today we’re still in our research phase but we are about to produce our first 45cm wide by 10metre long pre-production run with a company that we’ve been working with for just under a year now in Milan, Italy. We’re moving on up from our current A3 sized sheets of grape leather and we want to accelerate our process now. We’re getting orders from local and international Designers in the fashion and lifestyle industries and in particular for our customised grape leather, which is currently priced at around the €90/metre, which is aimed at the mid-high end Luxury market.
The size of the European market for alternative plant leathers, such as ours, is predicted to be at €864 million by 2026. Planet of the Grapes is aiming for 1% of that market share over the next 5 years.