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News of the Week: Your Weekly Debrief 23/21

Business, Food, Fashion & Design: Your Weekly Debrief for Week 23, 2021, a curated newsletter with a handpicked selection of news from the plant-based world.

Antagonist 'Your Weekly Debrief' – a curated newsletter bringing you the very best in plant-based news

June 11, 2021

Words – Eric Mirbach
Editorial Desk – Laura Sinnhuber

Good Morning,

and great to have you join us for the Weekly Debrief for week 23 of 2021. We got the latest from the world of plant-based business, food, fashion, travel, and lifestyle, curated and contextualized for you.

You can subscribe, too.

But it gets better: You can subscribe to the Weekly Debrief, now, too. Get them delivered straight to their inbox every Saturday morning as a nicely prepared weekend read.

This week, we look into Israel’s fur ban, try out a pair of vegan Vans classics, develop a new vegan protein source and grow our own meat.

Israel the First Country to Ban the Sale of Fur

This is huge! This week, our friends at PETA announced that Israel has banned the sale of fur (thanks in huge parts to the NGO’s persistent campaigning). This makes Israel the first country in the world to do so. And they are in good company: California banned the sale of new fur statewide in 2019, and numerous top designers (Burberry, Gucci, Versace, Armani) have banned fur from their collection.
According to PETA, the UK government is gathering evidence for a fur import and sales ban — and asks for you to speak out on the matter here. If you have 2 minutes, please do so.

$9M in Funding For New Vegan Protein

A team of Danish researchers in the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen has received DKK 56M (about US $9M) to develop “the fundamental knowledge required to invent a completely new category of vegan protein as a sustainable alternative to animal protein.” 

I know what you think: But we already have legumes? Right. The research concentrates on yellow peas and oats, fermentation, molds and bacteria and wants to achieve improved digestibility, more flavor, and an increased essential amino acid profile.

Sounds good, bring it!

Animal-Free Collagen Unveiled

Biodesign startup Geltor has unveiled “the world’s first real vegan collagen” for the food and beverage industry. The company claims their new product PrimaColl is an exact match for the bioactive amino acid core of Type 21 collagen, but instead of being extracted from animal skin, bones, and connective tissue, it’s a cultivated product, providing a high potency level, while containing fewer secondary components.

Learn more here.

Replacing Petrochemicals with Sustainable Materials

Great read in Forbes by author John Cumbers, looking at new developments in biotechnology. Replacing petrochemicals with identical, sustainable materials would go a long way in protecting the environment (and animals, just google “oil spill”, if you dare to).

For an overview of the companies out there working on new solutions, we highly recommend to check out the piece.

Simulate just raised $50M for their plant-based Chicken

The “Tesla of Chicken” is back. Simulate just raised $50M for their plant-based Nuggs — at a $250M valuation. The company is looking to develop more products (i.e. a beef alternative), triple its employee base, ad more scientists and engineers and scale up manufacturing.

We just hope they have some funding set aside to keep meme game on the gram running on overdrive.

Vans Drops New Sustainable, Vegan Collection (Hooray for Checkerboard)

Everybody’s favorite skate shoe brand Vans just reveiled a new collection named Eco-Theory. Some of their most popular surf-style classics, including the Slip-On, Authentic, Sh8-Hi and Style 36 have been reimagined with a new, Earth-friendly approach.

An organic cotton canvas upper (GOTS certified – woah!) meets a new all-natural rubber sole, that has been developed to completely replace petroleum-based materials. A nice, final touch: The hemp laces. We’re definitely on board and can’t wait to rock that checkerboard again!

Burberry announces to go Climate Positive

The luxury brand is going further than “just” carbon neutrality and has committed to climate positivity by 2040. While experts say that will be difficult to achieve in this Vogue piece, we’d be interested to hear what that initiative means in terms of using animal-derived products in future collections.

Burberry, call us back!

Waste-Reducing Products We Loved This Week

Two great ideas that not only reduce plastic waste but also look great? Coming right up!

First, let’s take care of our collective armpits and look at Fussy’s new sustainable deodorant. London design studio Blond is combining a refillable deodorant system with a mail subscription service, and all the reusable case made from recycled plastic.
Other refillable toiletries we love: By Humankind and Pharell Williams’ gender-neutral skincare range Humanrace.

Or how about a reusable food container for takeaways that can either be eaten or composted once the food inside it is finished? Design studio Forest and Whale has created the containers made of wheat husk, that will decompose in regular compost bins in about 30 days.

Last but not Least:

Big fans of the new marketing campaign by California-based plant-based meat company Alpha Foods headed by advertising agency Mischief

A kit allows customers to grow the ingredients used in Alpha’s meat alternatives — “wholesome, non-GMO products,” says CMO Kierstin De West. “By shipping seed packets direct to consumers, our goal was to demonstrate it’s not all that offside that wheat can be grown into meat.”

We agree and love the idea.

As always, thanks for reading and have a great weekend. Read you next week!

Yours truly,
Eric Mirbach
(Editor in Chief)

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Curated, selected and contextualized for you by the Antagonist editorial team.

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