Modern Synthesis and GANNI Introduce Innovative ‘Bou Bag’ Made with Bacterial Nanocellulose at London Design Festival

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 07:25 pm

Modern Synthesis and GANNI Fabrics of the Future have unveiled a groundbreaking project at the London Design Festival 2023, presenting GANNI’s iconic ‘Bou Bag’ silhouette crafted from a novel leather-alternative, sustainable textile produced by bacteria. This unique handbag is set to make a significant impact on the fashion industry by showcasing the potential of biomaterials for sustainable luxury.

Modern Synthesis, a leading biotechnology company specializing in sustainable material innovation, has collaborated with GANNI, the visionary Danish fashion brand, to reimagine the renowned GANNI ‘Bou’ handbag using a pioneering biomaterial. This pilot project showcases the natural beauty and versatility of Modern Synthesis’ bacterial nanocellulose materials, which have been ingeniously shaped into GANNI’s signature hexagonal silhouette. The companies are working together with the goal of making this innovative bag commercially available by early 2025.

This project represents a pivotal moment in GANNI’s Fabrics of the Future program, which challenges the conventional use of materials in the fashion industry and promotes responsible alternatives through partnerships with innovative startups.

The Bou Bag is crafted from bacterial nanocellulose, a robust and finely textured form of cellulose derived from bacterial fermentation. Notably, this biotextile is naturally free from animal products and plastics, providing an appealing alternative to traditional leather and plastic-based synthetics. This collaboration between Modern Synthesis and GANNI underscores GANNI’s commitment to eliminating virgin leather from its product offerings by 2030, reaffirming their dedication to responsible luxury.

The Modern Synthesis x Ganni Bou Bag will take center stage at the upcoming Material Matters fair, which runs from September 20-23 during the highly anticipated London Design Festival. By showcasing this unique piece at the heart of the capital’s leading design festival, both Modern Synthesis and GANNI are highlighting the potential of innovative design and offering a glimpse into the promising future of biomaterials in the commercial fashion industry.

Lauren Bartley, Sustainability & CSR Director at GANNI, stated, “GANNI is on track to phase out all virgin leather by the end of this year,  which has been a radical goal for us. But the work doesn’t stop here. Working and trialing with partners like Modern Synthesis to develop more responsible and durable leather alternatives is crucial for us. Doing so enables us to create high-quality design products in lower-impact materials – changing the future of fabrics as we know them today. By partnering with Modern Synthesis to develop our iconic Bou Bag from bacteria, we get another step closer to our goal of having 10% of materials coming from our ‘Fabrics of The Future’ by 2025 – and we can’t wait to see what else we can make with Modern Synthesis’ technology.”

Jen Keane, CEO of Modern Synthesis, explained, “Collaborating with GANNI on the Bou Bag has allowed us to showcase the viability of bacterial cellulose-based materials in real-world applications. These one-off showcase pieces are pivotal in evaluating a material’s workability and appeal to both designers and consumers – which paves the way for its eventual integration into everyday fashion. Our pilot is a testament to the potential of sustainable materials in transforming the fashion industry, and we’re excited to grow our partnership.”

As the bacterial nanocellulose Bou Bag captivates audiences at the Material Matters fair, Modern Synthesis and GANNI are confident that this pilot will inspire other fashion brands to explore sustainable alternatives. By pushing the boundaries of design and material capability, the two entities are propelling the industry towards a more conscious and creatively sustainable future.

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