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Shop uses food waste to make bags, accessories

Swatches | July 1, 2024 | By:

The Gala Hobo Crossbody, one of the bags in the Gala Collection; the collection also includes wallets, cardholders, clutches, tote bags and backpacks.

Allégorie, a handbag and accessory brand in New York City, makes all its products from discarded food, including apples, cacti, pineapple leaves and mangoes.

The Gala Puzzle Cardholder in black; each cardholder in the collection upcycles pomace waste from 25–30 apples. Image: Allégorie

Its bags and wallets are made from cruelty- and PVC-free materials, offering an alternative to animal and vegan leather.

The shop’s largest collection is the Gala Collection, a line of tote bags, backpacks, crossbody bags, cardholders and wallets made from apple pomace left after the fruit is juiced at factories. With the help of production partners, Allégorie collects and dehydrates the pomace. After it is dried, it is mixed with binding agents, including natural additives, a water-based solvent and/or a bio-based polymer. Then it is laminated on recycled, plant-based fabric. It takes approximately 25–30 apples to create one Gala Puzzle Cardholder.

The Cactus Long Wallet from the Cactus Collection, made from leather crafted from discarded cactus leaves. Image: Allégorie

The Cactus Collection is made from mature cactus leaves harvested by Desserto®, a Mexico-based biomaterials company that produces cactus-based leather replacements for the fashion and automotive industries. The company harvests mature leaves from plants every six to eight months. It takes about three cactus leaves to create 1 meter (3 feet) of cactus leather.

The Pineapple Bifold Wallet from the Pineapple Collection, made in collaboration with PEEL Lab. Image: Allégorie

Allégorie works with PEEL Lab, a Japanese B2B startup that upcycles fruit from juice factories, to make its Pineapple Collection. The collection includes a wallet and a hobo fanny bag made from pineapple leaves and vegetable scraps. 

The Mango Cardholder is available only seasonally at in-person events hosted by the shop in the summer. Image: Allégorie

The Mango Collection is available only in the summer to coincide with the fruit’s local season. The store collaborates  with Fruitleather Rotterdam, a material lab based in the Netherlands, to collect discarded mangoes. The fruit is more likely to become waste in that country because it is imported and has a short shelf life. Once collected, the mangoes are boiled down, then baked into sheets with natural additives and backed with organic cotton.

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