Meng Du designs bags made of next-generation leather from recycled grape skins for Oddbird
Scandinavia’s largest producer of craft wines liberated from alcohol aims to make use of the massive waste from wine production.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
March 04, 2022
26 billion litres. That’s the annual global wine production. The main residue of the winemaking is grape marc, which consists of the stalks, skin, pulp, and seeds that remain after pressing the grapes. Instead of throwing it away, French leather maker Planet of the Grapes has collected the waste from the vineyards producing for Swedish non-alcoholic winemaker Oddbird, dried it outside, and grounded it into a fine powder which has then blended with natural local ingredients, turned into a liquid and finally a type of leather.
This leather has then been put in the hands of Meng Du, a young designer from Parsons School of Design who’s been praised for her work with virtual concept design. Together with Swedish non-alcoholic winemaker Oddbird, she’s designed a line of two bags in a moulded shape called Unwasted.
— 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, Du says.
— In order to future proof winemaking, we are experimenting with the lifecycle and production to optimise the use of resources in the winemaking and Unwasted was born out of those challenges. A challenge going forward now is finding a partner for collecting grape marc at a bigger scale, and putting grape leather into larger production, Ylva Nestmark, brand director at Oddbird, adds.
The bags have also been showcased in the metaverse Decentraland, where they’re available for purchase as virtual collectable NFTs. The physical products are now available for pre-order and will be produced on-demand later in 2022.