Ethical shoe brand Po-Zu has remodelled its Butterfly and Sneak designs using an innovative new vegan “leather.” The material is made from the skins of organically produced apples grown in the Italian Alps.

The apple skin leather is produced by mixing waste from the apple juice industry into a polyurethane mixture, which, says the brand, needs no soil or water for cultivation.

“What’s more, because it doesn’t produce any waste of its own, the material’s production closes the apple cycle completely, thus creating a truly eco-friendly, non-toxic and cruelty-free vegan leather that diverts food waste for good,” says the London-based company in a release.

The two new styles are part of the brand’s Mainline collection — its first 100% vegan line made from food waste — featuring shoes manufactured using materials including coconut husks, cork, rubberized organic cotton and pineapple leaves.

Image credit: Po-Zu

“I am passionate about creating footwear that is cruelty-free yet doesn’t come at the cost of our planet,” explains brand founder Sven Segal. “We are very excited to be integrating more and more innovative eco-materials into our new 100% vegan collections.”

It is great news that ethical brands are investing in the research and development of vegan alternatives. Perhaps it’s not surprising given the dramatic rise in people choosing to live an animal-friendly lifestyle. According to the report Top Trends in Prepared Foods 2017, the number of vegans in the United States grew from nearly four million in 2014 to 19.6 million in 2017; a 600% increase.