In March, 2020 Bangalore-based tech solutions company Infinitum Global, estimated that the market for vegan leather will reach US$89 billion by 2025, a compound annual rate of 49.9% between 2020 and 2025, citing the growing consumer awareness about animal welfare as the primary reason for growth, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The study also reveals that as consumers become more concerned about sustainability, the sector will be driven to innovate more eco-friendly types of vegan leather alternatives, which for now tend to be plastic-based products that have a shorter lifespan than traditional animal-based leather”.
“The primary reason for its rapid growth will be the evolving awareness about animal welfare and rights, which will send consumers looking for more animal-free products, especially in the footwear, garments and furniture industries.
Asia will be the predominant driving force of the market, says the report. While animal cruelty regulations may already exist in Europe, these policies are likely to become more stringent over time and will also begin to surface in Asia-Pacific, particularly synthetic vegan leather in the region."
This projected growth in Asia will take place as the continent experiences a rapid rise in population and disposable income, especially in China and India. Although North America and Europe will continue to see stable substantial growth owing to the cruelty free consumer trend, the Asian market is expected to propel the majority of the growth rate as middle-income earners begin to shun conventional animal-based products.
Even though the Global Market projections indicate a substantial and rapidly growing market for alternative leather products which encourages new entrants, this has also brought significant competition and investment in new technologies seeking to exploit the potential revenues from this growth.
Interestingly, and perhaps indicative of the challenges involved in creating a product that is truly innovative and fully satisfies the criteria for effective replacement of natural leathers, no universal breakthrough product has emerged.
Our approach to research and development and product development, and by extension our marketing plan, will differentiate our product in the market by:
Building upon the industrial and technical expertise that already exists in Hong Kong and China and refine and validate it though co-operation with world-class Research facilities.
Create a proximity based solution that can leverage the substantial resources and industrial knowledge and facilities that already exist in China.
Although our commitment is to producing a product close to home (Hong Kong/China), the intention is that the resultant technology can the subject of knowledge transfer through licensing, to allow the adoption of the processing technology in regional locations globally to avoid the negative climate consequences of extended supply chains and transporting finished products worldwide.
With the involvement of CityU the R & D is now centred on developing a material for the automotive industry which means that the Farmaissance Innovation focus now is also on the Transport industry rather than the broader market for biobased leather alternatives which was the original target to include fashion, furniture etc.
A key component of the Project is proximity to resources and providing a product that provides a complete Life Cycle solution.