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General Silicones (GS), a major manufacturer and distributor of silicone and rubber products across the CPG, electronics and automobile industries, has made its first debut into the vegan leather space, introducing a new plastic-free sustainable leather alternative made from natural silicone rubber. The Taiwanese company says the decision is part of its “manufacturing evolution” in response to the growing global demand for animal-free materials.
Taiwanese silicone manufacturing giant GS has revealed it is “joining the ranks of suppliers of eco-friendly, plastic-free vegan leather” amid surging demand for animal-free alternatives. Entering a new product category, the company’s vegan leather will be made from natural silicone rubber derived from sand-based silica and is free from any petroleum-derived plastics.
According to GS, its new cruelty-free alternative mimics the touch, feel and appearance of real leather. Like other vegan leathers on the market, it has a far lower carbon footprint than its real animal-based counterpart, as it eliminates the emissions-intensive process of raising and slaughtering cattle.
But GS says that its silicone-based material comes with additional unique advantages, because it is resistant to cold, heat and is waterproof, and is also far more durable than existing fabrics to ensure a much longer product lifetime. It can be incorporated into everything from fashion accessories and footwear to furniture.
GS is pleased to provide its partners and clients a means to create products that do not need to rely on animal cruelty and offer a greener alternative.General Silicones
The new material will be produced, manufactured and coloured using processes of the highest environmental standards, said the firm, whose products will be tested by Swiss verification firm SGS to comply with international safety requirements. GS is also ISO 14001 certified, ensuring that no harmful toxins or solvents are used or being released during the entire production process.
“GS is pleased to provide its partners and clients a means to create products that do not need to rely on animal cruelty and offer a greener alternative,” said the company.
Each batch of vegan leather will be shipped to clients through its patented Compo-SiL technology, which enables the material to be transported and stored in rolls, making it easier for producers to incorporate the eco-friendly alternative into their existing production line.
“Vegan leather from GS is unique in providing an easily scalable solution to support the fast-growing demand for sustainable vegan leather solutions,” explained GS.
The Taipei-based manufacturer, whose supply network extends to Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Europe, says that the move is part of its business strategy to tap into the fast-growing market for animal-free materials.
Vegan leather from GS is unique in providing an easily scalable solution to support the fast-growing demand for sustainable vegan leather solutions.General Silicones
Vegan leather substitutes have been on the uptrend and are surging in popularity, with a recent report by Infinitum Global estimating that demand for vegan leather will continue to rise by an annual rate of 49.9% to reach US$89.6 billion by 2025.
Infinitum Global researchers expect the main drivers of growth to come from rising awareness about animal welfare and sustainability, particularly across Asian markets, where consumers are increasingly inclined to purchase animal-free products in all product categories.
All images courtesy of General Silicones.