Inspiring young designers through innovative materials

Engineered leather is a product widely used across variety of markets – from aviation to footwear by brands who are often household names. One of those brands – Nike – collaborated with London based Central Saint Martin College and British designer Samuel Ross.

Nike use engineered leather for their Flyleather collection and have hailed the material to be “the greatest advance in leather, since leather” thanks to its sustainability credentials and superior performance.

The aim of the project was to encourage CSM students to think about sustainability of their designs but also to carefully consider materials chosen. And so each student was equipped with Flyleather material and asked to use it in other way than footwear.

The students produced all kinds of items – from skin protection to bags, furniture and portable picnics with the top seven projects exhibited at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019. Dazed magazine produced a gallery of some of the amazing work submitted by the students.

ELeather spoke to some of them to get their take, not only on engineered leather but importance of sustainability in the design industry as a whole.

One of the students, Johanna Parv whose Infinity Bag was displayed in Copenhagen said “I enjoyed working with Flyleather as I’m a big fan of leather. It’s similar to full grain leather and I can see it used in many applications due to its durability and practicality.”

Asked about her view on sustainability in design, Johanna remarked that “it’s very important to think about circularity and sustainability in your design process to make sure we’re not wasting any material and that we design products that are actually needed. What I realised doing this project is the passion I have for thinking about circular design and I would definitely want to keep working in that direction.”

ELeather’s founder, Chris Bevan, believed that too many of the world’s limited resources are going to waste. He recognised this in the processing of traditional leather hides and decided to do something about it. Chris started work on what eventually became engineered leather – saving thousands of tons of leather waste each year and enabling designers markets to make the sustainable choice without compromising on performance.

Find out more the Nike / Central Saint Martin project here.