Uncaged Innovations Does Bio-Material Leather in White Plains

Adobe Stock/ maykal

Expand your mind and look past the limitations of traditional animal-made leather with this new and improved bio-material leather.

Breaking the mold is more than just having an inventive mind. According to Uncaged Innovations, it’s about expanding an already historically rooted industry with “new, innovative ideas.”

CEO Stephanie Down has had her fair share of experience in creating companies, as this is her third start-up – the first two being a digital marketing company and a plant-based meat company stationed in India. But when asked about the inspiration behind Uncaged Innovations, Down speaks on more than just a business perspective, “With over 13 years of volunteer work for animal shelters and animal welfare, and so much interest in the automotive industry and fashion, we researched good alternatives to stop using leather,” says Down.

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Located in downtown White Plains, Uncaged is the only bio-material company in the Westchester area devoted to creating more environmentally friendly and animal-free leather. It is re-imagining the societal confines of what leather is “meant to be.” Traditionally, the leather-making procedure is a one-to-two-year venture that includes waiting for the hides of cows to grow and then enduring the tanning process. At Uncaged Innovations, the company has found a faster, more eco-friendly substitute.

With the tremendous help of CTO and Co-Founder Dr. Xiaokun Wang, who obtained her post-doctorate from John Hopkins, Uncaged found a more sustainable alterative to leather and pleather. It is a “unique blend of eight different bio-materials,” Down explains. Distinct dyes for pigmentation and scent are added to eliminate the tanning process and produce an adaptable material that looks and feels like leather within the span of a couple hours. “We have been experimenting with blending in different biomaterials to make it smell like leather and can also do light scents such as vanilla,” says Down.

Currently, Uncaged is focused on the pilot production of transforming its durable and bio-degradable material into “small weather” goods, such as wallets and watchbands. Now, when it comes to pricing, one can’t help but think it may come with a luxury cost, but Down states that it can vary. “We will initially price at a premium because there is tremendous demand for the innovation, but we can easily price competitively with mid-level leather pricing,” she notes.

Following its motto, Uncaged Innovations is turning the tide by “diverting from the cow and going straight to the leather,” and creating a product that is sustainable for the environment and better for animal welfare.

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