Leather has an undeniable allure in the fashion world, and Modern Meadow is a new company helping to navigate the ethical dilemma that the material poses. The New Jersey-based bioengineering startup makes leather in a lab, eliminating the need for real animal hides altogether.
Even militant vegans would have trouble denying the cultural allure of leather clothing, but that doesn't make the material any less ethically murky. In the past, wearing leather necessarily meant killing an animal, but Modern Meadow is hoping to change that for good. The company's lab-grown leather, branded as 'Zoa', is completely animal free, meaning that it isn't even made from animal cells originally.
Zoa is made through "a smart custom DNA-based biofabrication process that's not a million miles away from CRISPR gene editing," according to Digital Trends. It creates collagen in skin from scratch, eliminating animals from the process entirely.