Tory Burch gives the iconic Ella bag a makeover in distressed vegetable leather – Sourcing Journal

Tory Burch dips a toe in biomaterials.

The luxury womenswear label announced Tuesday that it has partnered with Modern Meadow to manufacture a “vegetable leather alternative” tote bag – its first such product – using the latter’s proprietary protein-based platform.

“Consumer demand for products that are good for the planet is constantly increasing,” said Catherine Roggero-Lovisi, CEO of Modern Meadow. “Since 2008, the Ella bag has been one of Tory Burch’s most iconic and popular handbag styles. Modern Meadow is proud to be part of its next evolution as a high-performance and bio-based tote that consumers can rely on.”

The New Jersey-based company’s Bio-Alloy technology, as its name suggests, comprises a “unique alloy of proteins and bio-based polymers” designed to offer “unprecedented performance” in terms of durability and color brilliance, it said Company. More platform than product, it’s able to create materials like the BioFabbrica Bio-Tex that forms the outer shell of the Ella Bio for a range of applications.

Bio-Tex, Modern Meadow Notes, is a USDA certified bio-based material derived from non-GMO soy grown in North America and developed for Tory Burch to be strong and lightweight. It is also designed to contain a high percentage of renewable ingredients. A common complaint about replacement leathers is that they are oozing with petrochemicals, a characterization the company objects to, though it concedes that the industry “simply isn’t advanced enough” to go completely fossil fuel-free.

The Ella Bio itself is 64 percent bio-based and “feels and looks like leather,” said Jennifer Gootman, Tory Burch’s global head of sustainability and ESG strategy. Like other Modern Meadow products, Bio-Tex is “100 percent traceable from lab to brand.” According to Modern Meadow, the ability of its technologies to “fit” into existing infrastructures helps with immediate and scalable adoption, not just in textiles, but also in beauty and other industries — an “industry rarity.”

This isn’t Bio-Tex’s first commercial foray. Everlane previously used the material in a version of their Day Market Tote. Senreve, an Italian-made brand, also tapped into it for its Vegan Terra collection of carryalls last year.

“The Ella Bio meets our expectations for design, quality and durability,” said Gootman. “It’s a great example of a growing movement toward next-generation materials that take inspiration from nature but are engineered to have a lower impact on the environment.”

The Ella Bio, which costs $70 to $100 more than the regular Ella, comes in three sizes: Mini ($228), Small ($298), and Standard ($348). A range of colors are available, from black and white to watermelon pink and limoncello yellow. Tory Burch gives the iconic Ella bag a makeover in distressed vegetable leather – Sourcing Journal

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