SCOBY leather exists, and I promise it looks way better than jellyfish and ham.
Molly Ryan was the first designer to put SCOBY leather on my radar.
When I saw her SCOBY leather dress walk the runway, I internally complimented the style, the ethereal drape, and how stunning the model looked on the catwalk. It was only later that I discovered the model was in fact wearing an outfit made from the same jellyfish/ham slab that I have fermenting in my pantry.
Fashion student, Molly Ryan, has always designed with the planet in mind. During the Curtin University runway in Perth, I wasn’t the only person to do a double-take when it was announced that Molly’s entire collection, Fragments, was completely waste-free.
According to Molly, using SCOBY to achieve this waste-free mission was a no brainer. Though fabricating the material wasn’t as simple as using conventional fabrics. It involved a lot of trial and error.
“This (the lack of widespread SCOBY leather knowledge) lent itself to difficulties, but also successes,” says Molly. “I felt it was a totally organic learning and design process.”
Although the Fragments collection was not dyed, Molly could have added natural dyes to the SCOBY before and during the drying process to change the leather colour. Alternatively, adding a particular type of tea to the brew can also determine the colour.