It happened first with plant-based dairy. Consumers looking for an alternative to the harmful effects of cow’s milk gradually realized they could replicate the taste and texture of dairy products without the animal and environmental toll that dairy takes on the planet.
Next it was the plant-based meat sector’s turn. Several innovators, especially Impossible and Beyond, took a niche section of the food industry and made it convenient and acceptable for carnivores to mimic the taste of meat, again without the negative impact.
We have seen how companies like these plus brands such as Oatly, Gardein, Field Roast, Tofurky, Elmhurst, Miyoko’s and milkadamia have revolutionized the way that people around the world eat. They’ve continued to innovate and expand their product lines to the point where major Big Food companies are investing in plant-based meat brands. Alt dairy companies have made such an impact that the dairy industry lost over $1 billion in 2019 and has seen many of its largest producers filing for bankruptcy.
So what’s the next industry to have its Beyond moment? To us at Scout 22, the answer to that question is the vegan textile and fashion industry, which appears poised, after several years of slowly gaining acceptance and traction, to be ready to break out in 2021.
Gone are the days of hemp fashion being the only viable sustainable and ethical alternative in the fashion world. Now the fashion industry is producing stylish, durable clothing made from materials such as bamboo, fungi, orange peels, pineapple, cork, coconut, banana, cactus, and even Kenyan nettles and stem cells.
The last few years have seen significant capital investment in the vegan fashion world. Seed and Series A financing have been flowing into the industry since 2017—New York based Apparis being the latest beneficiary—and we see that trend exploding in 2021 as VC entities dig for the next Impossible.
With that in mind, Scout 22 is giving a preview of what the coming year might look like in the vegan fashion world with these 25 vegan textile companies to watch in 2021. They may not be the largest or most well-known but each of them should be on your own watch list if you, like us, are waiting for vegan textiles and fashion to have their moment.
25 VEGAN FASHION COMPANIES TO WATCH IN 2021 (In alphabetical order)
Algae based yarns and textiles made from durable yet rapidly degradable kelp.
Makers of Pinatex, a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibers extracted from pineapple leaves
New York-based label known for its colorful line of faux fur coats
Durable, secure cork leather backpacks from France.
Makers of spider silk for clothing, this San Francisco-based company is also producing handbags made from mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms.
This Parisian brand makes playfully mismatched, cruelty-free sneakers made from apple peels.
This Mexican company has been one of the most newsworthy brands this year. Desserto’s vegan leather products are made from cactus.
A pioneer in the development of hemp blend and other natural fiber textiles.
Wool alternative company out of India that makes natural fabrics from banana, Himalayan nettle, silk and hemp.
Pop star Rihanna’s faux leather brand.
One of the more interesting vegan textile brands, this company based in Kenya makes its products from drought resistant nettles.
HOUSE OF FLUFF
New York City faux fur brand that celebrates a love of plush, luxurious fashion.
Developers of Novasuede, a material that replicates the look and feel of suede.
Fashion made from biocomposite materials made from agricultural waste from the coconut industry in India.
The Bay Area company’s technology uses waste biogas to produce a biopolymer that is converted into a polyester replacement for textiles.
This Italian mushroom textile company develops and scales-up a range of mycelium-based technologies for the production of naturally-grown products.
Biotech company that makes fine leathers from mycelium for applications in luxury fashion and footwear.
Italian company that has patented and manufactures sustainable fabrics for fashion from citrus juice by-products.
Vegan and sustainable leather alternative called Fleather, made primarily from Indian flower waste.
Luxury vegan shoes from the former head designer at Jimmy Choo.
Fabric manufacturer from Germany specializing in durable, seaweed-based textiles.
Bags and accessories made from vegan leather that also uses 100% recycled water bottles for its products’ liners.
Producers of wine leather/grape leather used for the fashion and furniture industries.
Ocean-based fabrics made from seaweed, beechwood and zinc fibers.
San Jose-based company which has developed a fully scalable tissue engineering platform combining stem cells and biomaterials.
One final note, this list is purely informational and not an invitation or recommendation to invest.