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In nature, 'waste' simply does not exist; In our natural world, everything is made with intention, care, and most importantly, circularity. There is no "end life" so to speak - once something has lived out its years it returns to Earth to be reborn as something new. Many scientists, creators, and industries are slowly catching on to the genius of mother nature and the possibilities are absolutely mind-blowing. One such visionary is Dr. Luke Haverhals, Founder & CEO of Natural Fiber Welding. Natural Fiber Welding, Inc (NFW) is a material innovation company that is on the path of revolutionizing the textile industry, focused on merging sustainability, circularity, and the technology of plants. Dr. Haverhals expertise lies in agriculture, natural materials, nanomaterials, and automation, he has been working towards disrupting the petrochemical and plastic industry. Dr. Haverhals and his team at NFW® recently came out with a material they have named MIRUM®, which has set a new standard for the textile industry and will pave the way for the genuine implementation of 'circularity'.
The cycle of MIRUM® (mirum.naturalfiberwelding.com)
"MIRUM® is the revolutionary material that can help humanity break its dependence on nonrenewable fossil resources -- particularly petroleum-based plastics." Made entirely from natural plant and mineral inputs like natural rubber, vegetable oils, and waxes, and a number of fibers and fillers, with zero plastic, MIRUM® is also free of any synthetic dyes or harsh chemicals for coloring, only using natural pigments from plant and mineral sources. Furthermore, the fabric backing used for MIRUM® is all-natural fabrics that are naturally bound to the MIRUM® through an innovative manufacturing process that removes the need for harmful adhesives. Being a natural material then, reclaimed MIRUM®, like cutting scraps, dead stocks, and worn-out products can be made new again into MIRUM® products. Worst case, if MIRUM® ends up on the earth, being a natural, non-toxic material free of plastic, it will not cause harm to the environment. Natural Fiber Welding believes ‘vegan leather’ should mean plants, not plastic, and this philosophy is realized through MIRUM®. MIRUM® also recently received the USDA 100% Biobased Certification on its first collection. The certification means MIRUM® materials do not contain organic carbon from petrochemical origins. By testing the isotopic signatures of the carbon in this collection, the USDA certification shows MIRUM® is composed of 100% bio-based carbon. Makers around the world are currently working with MIRUM® to bring it to market for fashion accessories, footwear, consumer electronics, automotive interiors, and furniture. If you’re curious about how MIRUM® is made, NFW® published an insightful article on the entire process on their blog.
Era – MADE WITH MIRUM®
A limited-edition Baguette in monochrome
MIRUM® is much less resource-intensive to produce than both animal and synthetic leather, and unlike other next-generation "vegan" leather alternatives, MIRUM® contains no plastic.
According to scholarly research, producing one kilogram of animal leather emits 2-12 kg CO2-eq of greenhouse gasses. Emissions vary greatly depending on where animals are raised, how animal rearing is allocated to greenhouse gas emission of the hide, how tanning is achieved, etc. A kilogram of synthetic polyurethane-based leather alternative requires between 5-25 kg CO2-eq of emissions.
MIRUM® requires no tanning and is made from natural materials instead of petroleum.. In addition to having an extremely low carbon footprint, MIRUM® requires no water during manufacturing and dyeing. MIRUM® efficiently uses biobased materials that will not pollute the earth when products made from MIRUM® have reached the post-consumer end of life.
Beej grew from the idea of changing the fashion narrative, moving away from the conventional and making sustainability mainstream. As a brand, we first got introduced to MIRUM® in 2020 and we just knew we had to design with it. After 18months, multiple trials, and massive support from the NFW® team, we are now ready to release our first limited edition design. The most sustainable, lowest-impact addition to our ‘plant-based’ product catalog.
Still curious about MIRUM® and its application? Here's a short video that says it all.