News of the Week: Your Weekly Debrief 24/21

Business, Food, Fashion & Design: Your Weekly Debrief for Week 24, 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
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June 18, 2021

Words – Eric Mirbach
Editorial Desk – Laura Sinnhuber

Good Morning, 

and great to have you join us for the Weekly Debrief for week 24 of 2021.

This week we’re a little late as I had a group workout to organize — members of the team of both Antagonist and our partner agency Very Good Looking got together in a local gym to throw down in the morning hours before the heat could get out of control, so… a little busy with team building exercises (and actual exercises).

But now, as always, we got the latest from the world of plant-based business, food, fashion, travel, and lifestyle, curated and contextualized for you.

This week, we make some vegan scrambled eggs, go shopping for Gucci sneakers and call out world leaders with Greta Thunberg, because WTF guys, really?!

Here we go:

Waiting List Explosion at newly vegan Michelin-starred Restaurant

We wrote about the new $355 vegan menu of world-famous Michelin-star destination Eleven Madison Park on the website this week, in case you were wondering what it looks and tastes like.
 

Turns out it’ll be a while until you can taste it for yourself though, as the waiting list of chef Daniel Humm’s Manhattan institution has climbed 15,000 people — and that was before the reviews on some of the biggest media sites on the planet dropped (and yes, glad you ask, we count ourselves as one of those, obviously.)

Vegan Scrambled Eggs on Hypebeast

When your plant-based scrambled eggs are featured on Hypebeast, you’ve done something right, though we’re not entirely sure what exactly.

Brand Kewpie, known for a line of Japanese mayonnaise, unveiled their vegan scrambled egg made from soybeans, with a mild and mellow taste and a “half-rife fluffy texture”, says Hypebeast (of all places). Well then, good for you, Hobotama scrambled eggs. Definitely going to try this if we get the chance.

Greta calls out World Leaders

It is mind boggling: Our world’s leaders come together for another G7 summit in England to discuss global issues — one of them how to tackle the climate crisis — and according to the menus served over the three-day event, tackling the climate crisis apparently involves five-course dinners with turbot fish, Cornish cheeses, dairy-based desserts, sirloin steak and lobsters.
 
Climate activist and dedicated vegan Greta Thunberg wasn’t having it and yet again, spoke our collective minds: “The G7 leaders really seem to be having a good time presenting their empty climate commitments and repeating old unfulfilled promises. Of course, this calls for a steak-and-lobster BBQ celebration while jet planes perform aerobatics in the sky above the G7 resort.”
 
You can’t make this stuff up.

Nike Pineapple Series

It never gets old to see big brands embrace future materials and help bringing them in front of more people — while raising awareness and creating aspiration around them. For the Happy Pineapple Collection, Nike does exactly that. Partnering with Ananas Anam, the company that brought us Pinatex, Nike will be using the innovative textile that has been developed from the by-product of pineapple harvest alongside other sustainable materials like cork.
 
While our colleagues over at Futurevvorld have all the details, we’d agree with Hypebeast and look at the cork-upper AF1 with the most interest — it’s such an iconic silhouette and to us, that shoe looks like it could be entirely vegan.

We will investigate!

Gucci joins New Materials Race

Another brand launching a more sustainable (and in this case definitely vegan!) version of their sneakers is (drumroll): Gucci.

What’s so special about that (besides that it’s a sign of the obvious pressure on the market to get with the times, which still feels kind of astonishing), is that Gucci claims to have developed their own leather alternative in-house, a material called Demetra (in reference to the Greek goddess of agriculture and harvest).

How about a Plastic Waste Special?

While we’re at vegan leather alternatives… those still have to fight a bad rep. Vegan leathers are often accused of being ‘just cheap plastic’, which isn’t true in most cases, especially with higher quality brands — and also, follow the science: Man-made materials have a better ecological footprint than cow’s leather in absolutely any case. But that doesn’t mean plastic isn’t a problem.

1) Microbe-made Vanilla Flavor
So: Scientists have published research in the Green Chemistry Journal according to which we could use microbes to turn waste plastics into vanilla flavoring. Yep. We’ll just leave this here…

2) Bioplastic Carbon Sinks
In this piece in Deezen, author Jennifer Hahn talks to New York designer Charlotte McCurdy about the idea of burying bioplastic clothes in landfill sites to create artificial carbon sinks. Tell us more!

McCurdy’s best-known work is a carbon-negative translucent raincoat made of algae-derived bioplastic btw, which sounds absolutely bonkers and looks fabulous!
 
3) Vegan Spider Silk
vegan spider silk created by researchers at the University of Cambridge might be an alternative to replace single-use plastic. The material, inspired by the protein silk fibre spiders produce to make their webs can withstand a great deal of force and (weight for weight), is stronger and tougher than steel, yet super stretchable. And it can completely decompose in household compost systems. Yay science!

Last but not Least:

This week, we adore the images from the newest campaign by Stella McCartney, one of the very few arrived fashion designers out there who’s been making practically vegan* fashion for years and years.
 
(*… aside from using peace silk here and there as well as ‘sustainable’ wool, which we honestly think we could all do without: It’s practically impossible to supervise, a total environmental nightmare and absolutely a symbol of seeing animals as commodities — but hey; still a total pioneer and one of the few paving the way, so utmost respect and Stella-love over here!)
 
The campaign, inspired by the idea that animals should live freely amongst us without fear of cruelty, is quirky and fun and colorful and positive, despite the serious messaging behind it.

“While this campaign is light-hearted,” McCartney said, “I wanted to address a serious issue: ending the use of fur. Barbarism knows no borders and this effort is key to my life’s mission of bringing conscience to the fashion industry.”
 
Right when we thought we couldn’t possibly love her more.

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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Only the best reads, most interesting figures, great new releases and industry news from the world of vegan & plant-based innovation.

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

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