Remember fruit roll-ups? Back in the day, little did we know the recipe behind those yummy lunchbox snacks would someday be tweaked into the world’s most ethical leather. But today, a project called Fruitleather Rotterdam is working to change the way we view leather by offering its own take on the material, creating it from passed-over produce instead of animal hides. You’ve heard of vegan leather, right? Well, this stuff is next-level.

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The project is a collaboration among a collective of multidisciplinary design students at the Willem de Kooning Academie in the Netherlands. Working together to address the issue of food waste, they riffed on the concept of edible fruit leather and decided to experiment with a tiny portion of the 7,000 pounds of “unsellable” fruits and vegetables that they estimate are wasted every day at the outdoor markets around their city.


“Chefs use different techniques to create wonderful flavor experiences with fruits and vegetables,” says the Fruitleather Rotterdam website. “One of those techniques is to mash, cook and then dry fruits to make them into a candy-like piece of fruit called fruitleather. By producing this on a large scale with the unsellable fruits from the market, a new kind of material is created. This material can be used in many different ways, creating many different products.

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For now, they’ve only designed a handbag, but the group has big plans for the future of the cruelty-free, eco-friendly material as they improve upon it and seek out partnerships to take it into the mainstream market. In their own words, “We want to work together with companies and organizations to make the material better and better and create a wide variety of products.”


Would you buy a bag made of fruitleather? Tell us in the comments below!

(Images via Fruitleather Rotterdam)