There has been a new advancement in the fashion world and this time, it is made from fish! Fish leather could be a solution to traditional leather’s negative impact on the planet.
The fashion industry is making strides towards axing animal-based products as brand after brand have come forward in recent years announcing the end to their use of leather, fur and feathers. Head here to read about Moncler and Dolce and Gabbana’s decision to go fur free. But even certain ‘vegan’ options made out of plastic cannot claim to be sustainable.
Inversa lionfish leather was started by three scuba divers looking to curb the invasive lionfish problem caused by a human error in the 80s. This is when a handful of lionfish slipped undetected into the Atlantic waters off of the coast of Florida.
Nearly 40 years on, lionfish is now an invasive species and destroy coral reefs and entire oceanic food chains. So, could Inversa be the answer to creating sustainable animal-based leather?
The overpopulation of lionfish is a problem, according to Inversa’s website, coral reefs and the algae that grows on these reefs provide as much as 70% of the world’s oxygen. If the reefs are damaged by the lionfish, the impact is detrimental.
Inversa creates leather made entirely from invasive species like lionfish that are causing more harm than good. The brand then works with other likeminded companies which can turn the lionfish leather into sustainable products. Inversa has partnered with Italian footwear brand P448 and custom leather manufacturer, Teton Leather Company.
However, by using living animals, this type of leather production still holds a discussion around it. Speaking to Fashion United, Yvonne Taylor PETA’s director of corporate projects said, “We have a duty to find a humane solution to the problem that does not involve using spear guns.”
Despite this tricky conversation surrounding the ethics of Inversa’s leather production, the brand has strong sustainability goals. These goals focus on the word regeneration rather than sustainability as this promotes a circular practice that restores the planet back to a happier and healthier place.
Currently, Inversa is focusing on lionfish leather as the overpopulation of this particular species is one of the biggest problems. However, looking to the future of the brand, there is opportunity to expand and tackle the problem other invasive species cause.