Retail in Asia


Ganni, Lenzing, and Recyc Leather partner to bring leather alternative to market

Lenzing Group, a renowned global manufacturer of specialty fibres derived from wood, has joined forces with Recyc Leather, an expert in leather alternatives, to introduce Pélinova, an innovative new material that combines Tencel Lyocell fibres with recycled leather fibres, posing a sustainable alternative for the world of high-end fashion.

Together with Danish B Corp-certified fashion label Ganni, the trio is set to present a sustainable alternative to traditional leather materials which will feature first in Ganni’s new boots, launching early 2024.

SEE ALSO: Cult fashion label Ganni embraces global presence, furthers Asia ambitions

Retail in Asia speaks with Caroline Ledl, senior director, global product and application management, global textiles at Lenzing about the partnership, as well as growing interest in alternative materials in fashion.

RiA: What are your observations on the rising demand for alternative materials in the fashion sector?

Caroline Ledl: Driven by the ever-growing awareness among consumers around the environmental impact of the fashion industry, brands and retailers have been placed under immense pressure to provide planet-friendly textile solutions.

This pressure goes back along the supply chain, with industry players at every stage seeking a higher level of transparency from their vendors so that they can provide end-customers with complete information on the origins of their products. This pushes value chain partners to consider not only the aesthetics and the hand feel but also its impact on nature. 

RiA: Can you tell us about a few major collaborations Lenzing has had in 2023, including this latest partnership with Ganni?

Ledl: Early this year, we were pleased to introduce a collaboration with Recyc Leather for Danish advanced contemporary brand Ganni. This project combined our Tencel Lyocell fibres with recycled leather fibres to create a next-generation material, Pélinova, using a unique technique by Recyc Leather.

The combined efforts between Lenzing and Recyc Leather resulted in a material which is supple, flexible, and durable, with a low environmental impact utilising 70 percent less water than traditional methods and reducing CO2 emissions. We believe that Pélinova has immense potential and can be applied not only in the fashion industry but also in various other forms of textiles. 

From left: Lauren Bartley, chief sustainability officer at Ganni; Olivier Grammont, co-founder of Recyc Leather; and Caroline Ledl, senior director, global product and application management at Lenzing.

Beyond Pélinova, the Tencel brand has also collaborated with a number of partners to develop innovative footwear applications.

For instance, we have collaborated with leading shoe manufacturer, Camper, over many years to launch various footwear collections containing the Tencel fibres.

We have also recently collaborated with Ananas Anam to develop PIÑAYARN for use in Calvin Klein’s first ever knitted shoe upper made from discarded pineapple leaf fibers.

Besides footwear applications, we have been fortunate enough to collaborate with many like-minded brand partners across various segments, including apparel (daily wear, high-end luxury, denim, sportwear, activewear, workwear, sleepwear, home textiles) and more.

For example, we collaborated with long-time partner, Twothirds, to launch another planet-friendly, high-quality collection in 2023 using Lenzing Ecovero branded viscose fibres that support natural softness and drape.

This made it the perfect blending partner to help achieve Twothirds’ mission to lessen the burden that the fashion industry puts on the environment, working towards true sustainability and circularity.

Ganni’s Slouchy Boots feature the Pelinova material. Source: Ganni
 RiA: Why is fabric innovation important at this time? 

Ledl: Considering the impact that the textile industry is known to have on the environment, the conventional “take-make-waste” pattern has become increasingly less desired among brands and consumers alike.

Fabric innovation provides the textile value chain with the opportunity to develop new materials, manufacturing techniques, and technologies that can reduce these negative environmental impacts. A shift towards more responsible methods of textile and apparel manufacturing is not only an emerging trend, but also an irreversible imperative for the industry’s long-term sustainability. 

We are also leading the charge in process innovation, pioneering groundbreaking initiatives alongside our brand partners to integrate circularity into all aspects of the manufacturing process.

SEE ALSO: Skechers’ Zann Lee on building a thriving shoe business in Southeast Asia

Lenzing will continue to play the role in bridging the gap between its innovations and value chain partners, collaborating closely to respond responsibly to changing market trends and evolving industry requirements and technical manufacturing challenges.

I am excited to witness and participate in the development of more alternative materials that offer both style and circularity. Our dedication to innovation and responsible practices will continue to drive us forward, ensuring that we meet the evolving needs of conscious consumers and contribute to bettering the textile and fashion industry.