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Sappi equips Biophilica with release paper for “first” plastic-free vegan leather solutions

#Sappi equips Biophilica with release paper for “first” plastic-free vegan leather solutions

11 Mar 2024 — Sappi North America is collaborating with Biophilica for its plastic-free leather alternative branded Treekind. The product is fully bio-based, home compostable, non-toxic and vegan certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), employing Sappi’s textured release paper to give the material an “ultra-realistic” look and feel. 

Treekind is used for accessory retail products such as ID Genève Watches and late-stage pilots with international brands via Fashion for Good. “We are speaking with a number of packaging companies that are interested in luxury, sustainable packaging,” Mira Nameth, Biophilica’s founder and CEO, tells Packaging Insights

“Curating the texture of Treekind to be as close to the feel of genuine leather as possible was a top priority for our team and brand, and what ultimately led us to seek Sappi’s textured release technology,” says Nameth.

Understanding the importance of touch in consumers’ relationship with products, it was crucial to Biophilica to create a product with an authentic, non-plastic-like feel. “Touch can shift consumers’ minds into a deeper level of engagement — one more conducive to building a lasting relationship and connection with a brand,” says the company.


Haptics for consumer experience
Sappi North America’s Ultracast Viva release paper elevated Treekind’s texture to a high-fidelity, 3D leather grain look and feel, which also solved the product’s texture and color processing challenges, Mark Hittie, director for Release Business Strategy at Sappi North America, tells us.

“While Treekind currently uses Sappi’s leather grain textured release papers, Biophilica is also seeking to use Sappi’s other finishes and textures, including glossy and matt finishes and varying grains, for a potential expansion in their premium line of goods that will also embrace the ethos of elevating sustainability with an authentic feel.”

“The science of touch, also referred to as haptics, plays a major role in how consumers perceive a product,” asserts Hittie.

“Touch has the power to build relationships and brand loyalty, so we hope that others in the industry see this innovative, plastic-free leather alternative and are inspired to create their own sustainable solutions.”

By Natalie Schwertheim

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