Vegan Leather-Stitching Together Fashion and a Greener Future: Bahrain Indian School


Education_BH: Innovation and Excellence celebrates the remarkable innovations implemented in Bahrain’s schools and universities. We learned about these innovations, the process, the challenges, and the lessons learned from some of the leading educational institutions in the Kingdom. Read more in our latest issue.

Turning orange peels into organic leather – a student initiative that promotes eco-friendly fashion. Addressing the pollution and ethical concerns in traditional leather production, this innovative idea of vegan leather provides a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to fashion.

How was the innovation planned?

Over a term of 4 months, we collected orange peels for the project. The initial idea was to use mango peels but due to an availability issue, we eventually chose orange peels. We presented this project at the Bahrain Student’s Innovation Congress organised by the Science India Forum and were selected to present this project at a science fair organised in India where students of various states in India present their ideas.

What were the challenges faced during implementation?

While making the leather sample a few challenges that needed to be countered included the general physical properties – the tensile strength, brittleness or cracks in the leather, its water-retention, and fire resistance capacity.

Give us a brief assessment of your results:

After the leather was kept in the sun to dry for 5-7 days, it completely dried out and looked just like traditional leather. The properties of the leather were surprisingly better than expected. We performed tests to observe fungal growth on the leather sample. No signs of fungal growth or change in smell were observed despite the unpredictable weather. We observed the heat resistance and insulating properties of the leather sample using a hairdryer, a laboratory thermometer, and a stopwatch. After holding the hairdryer over the sample for six minutes, we saw that there was no change in its temperature.

The third test was designed to observe the water-absorbing and water-resisting capacity of the leather sample. Water was sprayed on the leather sample and after 37 minutes, it had developed a few cracks and the sample had partially absorbed the water. After 24 hours the water had evaporated, and all the cracks had disappeared.

The fourth test was to dye the leather using blue food colouring, creating a customized and vibrant blue hue while evaluating colour absorption and its visual impact on the leather. For the final test, we made a series of cuts and stitches to the leather to gauge its physical properties.  

In hindsight, what were the most valuable lessons learned while implementing the innovation? Could things have been done differently?

This innovation showed us the need to take concrete steps towards sustainability. This innovative approach not only stands as a beacon for environmental conservation but also resonates as an Ethical Fashion Campaign, empowering students to lead the change and creating a transformative narrative.

Be Conscious, Be Vegan, Be the Change.

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