Traditionally held during the Vivatech trade show in Paris, the LVMH Innovation Awards were digitally broadcast due to the cancellation of the show's June 2020 edition. From among the 30 finalists, we highlight three start-ups offering novel sustainable materials that could be a good fit for luxury packaging.
Desserto, a start-up founded in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2019, was the first runner-up for this year’s award and took home the special jury prize. The company produces what it calls plant-based vegan leather, a material made from the nopal cactus that grows abundantly in Mexico. The leaves are cut, mixed with “non-toxic” chemical binding agents and the result is then shaped. Desserto is said to be flexible, breathable and stain-resistant, while complying with “even the most rigorous environmental standards”.
“Waste is the new luxury,” explains Ana Lima, ceo of Matter, a company based in Porto, Portugal that sources and upcycles production residue from the food and wine & spirits industries to create new materials. “For companies in these sectors, the solid organic waste they generate is both under-valued and a burden,” noted Lima, during her pitch. Matter recycles the waste to create bio-based sensory materials that mirror their origin—chocolate, wine, champagne, coffee—allowing the brands’ packaging to enrich their marketing stories.
Plasticfri’s patented process transforms agricultural waste and non-edible plants into what it explains is a plant-based material that biodegrades in less than 90 days, can be recycled with paper and “looks and works like plastic”. Although the Swedish greentech company says that Plasticfri is tailored for shopping and promotional bags as well as household care products, it is also targeting packaging applications in fashion and leather goods as well as fragrance and cosmetics.