Coconut has been a source of income for many South Indian farmers and dealers, and similarly, is a consumers’ favourite to beat the heat during the worst of summer days. However, many coconuts go waste after each season, owing to either excess of stock or simply because of going stale due to the harsh weather, which further affects the livelihood of the small and big farmers investing in this industry. On the other side of the consumerism, the fashion industry has been forced to rethink and reiterate its ways of functioning in order to become more conscious, as environmental and humanitarian sustainability has become the need of the hour, and the search for alternates that are more sustainable in nature is a never-ending process.

Bridging these two extremely different perspectives in the form of a genius innovation which was simply named as Malai were Zuzana Gombosova and Susmith CS, now identified as the transformers of the alternate leather material industry and the waste coconut industry as well.

“We started from scratch, basically working with the recipe in our kitchen. In collaboration with experts from various fields and driven by our own curiosity and trial and error process, we developed a flexible, durable biocomposite material comparable to leather, which is water resistant and contains absolutely no artificial ‘nasties’ that might cause any allergies, intolerances or illnesses. It is a completely vegan product and as such you could even eat it, although it’s way too pretty for
that,” says Zuzana.

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