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Mansur Gavriel’s Classic Bucket Bags Reborn With Bio Leather

Ten years ago Mansur Gavriel hit the ground running with its debut collection of bucket bags. A decade later the luxury label is introducing the Apple Leather bucket bag, its first bio-based handbag, as part of its permanent collection.

After nearly two years of research and vetting, founders Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel chose their iconic bucket bag silhouette for the inaugural collection, using 100 percent vegan apple leather from Northern Italy. Created by Mabel Industries, the apple leather is produced through a coagulation process that swaps out 50 percent of fossil fuel inputs with waste such as peels and cores discarded by the apple industry. The result is a leather alternative that’s waterproof, durable and vibrant in color.

“The early stages of R&D bring us back to 2021, when Mabel, a company active in the production of polyurethane coated materials, started playing with the industrial waste of the apple juice industry,” Umberto Bacenetti, CEO of Mabel Industries, said. “Italy is one of the largest producers of apples worldwide and everything that is left out of the production of apple juice is going into waste management, [with] all annexed costs and damages to the environment.”

Mansur Gavriel’s Apple Leather bucket bag comes in a variety of colors. Courtesy

Mabel’s branded AppleSkin material offers mechanical resistance similar to other synthetic fabrics. It’s also better for the environment than conventional leather, whose use of standard polyurethane (PU) foam bears a carbon footprint that amounts of 5.28 kg (11.64 lbs.) CO2 eq/Kg PU. Every kilogram of zero-impact apple waste used in place of PU cuts out nearly 12 pounds of CO2.

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“The idea behind AppleSkin is to transform this waste into new sustainable raw materials for the production of leather-like fabrics,” Bancenetti said. “Every ton of apple waste that we save from the incinerator’s flames means a ton less of polyurethane used in our production.”

AppleSkin begins in Italy‘s apple-producing South Tyrol province, which generates an estimated 30,000 tons of waste such as skins and peels. These byproducts are then recovered by Bolzano-based company Frumat, which pulverizes the castoffs into powder. Mabel uses this powder in place of oil derivatives (such as PU) to create what it bills as a vegan option to replace animal-derived leather.

Frumat‘s agriculturally based input has found favor in fashion, with the innovator making sneakers with Tommy Hilfiger and furniture with French designer Philippe Starck.

“We chose to collaborate with Mansur Gavriel because we love to help brands reduce their environmental impact while offering to the public beautiful and luxury products,” Bacenetti said. Other brands that have experimented with AppleSkin include Cartier, Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen.

With plans to introduce new shapes for Spring/Summer 2023 and beyond, the Apple Leather collection represents Mansur Gavriel’s ongoing commitment to reducing the fashion industry’s environmental impact. The brand’s upcycled seasonal capsules will also remain a constant, using excess trimmings to weave new bags. Last April, Mansur Gavriel collaborated on a footwear capsule with French shoe brand Veja and is cooking up a plant-based fur launch before 2023 comes to a close.

The Apple Leather Bucket Bag is available on starting Tuesday for $495 in four colorways: Black/Flamma, Camello/Sun, Jade/Jade and DustyRose/Rosa.