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Grape marc is the by-product of the approximately 26 billion litres of wine that is produced globally every year. Today, large amounts of the remaining grape marc are wasted and not used in a valuable way. Oddbird, Scandinavia's largest producer of craft wines liberated from alcohol, is now making use of the waste from the wine production to create a leather from the recycled grape skins.
“In order to future proof winemaking, we are experimenting with the lifecycle and production to optimise the use of resources. Unwasted was born out of those challenges, and aligns with Oddbird’s goal to inspire a more conscious lifestyle. A challenge going forward now is finding a partner for collecting grape marc at a bigger scale, and putting grape leather into larger production”, says Ylva Nestmark, Brand Director at Oddbird.
The bags are designed in collaboration with Meng Du, a CFDA Fashion Future Graduate designer from Parsons School of Design, New York, that has been celebrated in international Vogue among others for her work with virtual concept design. The shape is moulded from empty discarded milk cartons and beverage cans, as Meng was inspired by the squashed and dented shapes, enhancing the value of a second life.
“The audience interested in this kind of product may be niche, but hopefully we are moving towards making long-term investments in something more meaningful than the casual fast fashion purchase”, says designer Meng Du.
The grape leather is created by the small French leather maker Planet of the Grapes. The process is quite a lengthy one going back to the era of craftsmanship and taking time to create a unique and natural material, free from fossil fuel-based plastics. Grape waste is collected from the vineyards, dried under the Provençal sunlight and then ground into a fine powder. This is blended with totally natural local ingredients, turned into a liquid and finally a type of leather.
The collection consists of two versions and sizes, Unwasted Merlot and Unwasted Chardonnay. They can be pre-ordered and will be produced on-demand later in 2022. There will be a virtual showing of the bag in metaverse Decentraland on 24th February at 2.00 pm CET.