Malai biocomposite

Biocomposite material

Brand: Malai Biomaterials

Applications: Accessories, bags, interior decor, stationary, light footwear

A material often categorised as “vegan leather,” Malai is a biocomposite material based on bacterial cellulose grown on water from mature coconuts and natural fibres. Malai is a biocomposite material which is completely organic, vegan and compostable – even in home compost. Malai collaborate with coconut processing units in South India who find themselves with an excess of waste water from mature coconuts that would otherwise be dumped into the environment. This water is used as a media for a fermentation process to grow Bacterial Cellulose. The material is further refined by adding natural fibres from banana stem, sisal and hemp. All Malai materials are dyed using plant based natural dyes sourced from India.


There are a number of accreditation assessments available to manufacturers. Set by third party organisations such as BREEAM, LEED, UL and C2C, they offer prospective specifiers the opportunity to understand and evaluate what sustainability standards a given material may offer their project.

Wherever possible we showcase materials that have some form of accreditation but also recognise that acquiring them can be a costly and time consuming process, particularly for smaller brands.

We believe in transparency and think that an honest approach to materiality is key to making more sustainable decisions when planning our built environments.

We seek and promote material manufacturers that:

  • Consciously endeavour to choose raw materials based on provenance and quantity required
  • Aim to reduce the energy needed and pollution created in the production and transportation of their materials
  • Reuse resources and waste
  • Create regenerative materials
  • Utilise closed-loop production methods