Vegetarian French designer Philippe Starck created a furniture collection upholstered in a vegan leather fabric called Apple Ten Lork.
The collection – which includes 16 pieces – was created for Cassina, a high-end furniture brand. Cassina said a desire to discover alternative materials inspired the “experimental process,” reports design magazine Dezeen.
“Cassina’s DNA has always been strongly identified by its drive for research and development,” Cassina said in a statement. “This is a first move in looking at what alternatives are available.”
Apple Ten Lork is made from apple cores and skins, biological industrial waste products. It comes in white, orange, and black colors and is one of several apple skin materials produced by Frumat, an Italian company that recycles biological industrial waste to craft eco-friendly, sustainable products. These items are used across multiple industries including furniture, shoes, and bookbinding.
“The idea was to transform biological industrial residuals into a new raw material and to develop with them innovative materials with highly sustainable, bio-based fundamentals,” Frumat explained to Dezeen. “Those residuals, classified as special waste, otherwise got put in landfill or in some cases are burned.”
The apple leather furniture was displayed in Cassina’s Paris showroom alongside apple-themed decor, like recounts of the biblical Adam and Eve tale accompanied by Albrecht Durer’s 1507 paintings of the characters. Newton’s theory of gravity, which was triggered when an apple fell from a tree and hit his head, was also referenced.
Starck hopes the collection inspires the public to consider the materials being used to produce the products they buy, as well as the way the fabric looks and feels.
“A leather sofa is beautiful and comfortable, but why stop there? We pretend not to hear the question but we really need to find other solutions,” said Starck.
“Today, perhaps apples can give us the beginning of the answer. Like Eve, Newton … we believe in the apple, in Apple Power. Let’s eat apples and hope that this Cassina sofa made from apples creates a new vegetal path to mutual respect,” he added.
Starck is a longtime vegetarian, telling Vanity Fairy, “I don’t want to kill. It’s clearly philosophical.” He is one of many designers looking for animal-free alternatives to leather, with many turning to food waste to make their visions a reality. Italian fashion brand Altiir created gold and silver biker jackets with vegan pineapple leather and fashion label Veja made vegan sneakers out of corn waste.
Image Credit: Dezeen